'Yikes': Photo PSA of Tick Burrowed in Bizarre Spot on Dog Shocks Internet

A photo of a tick burrowed in a canine's gums has shocked the internet in a viral Reddit post garnering a lot of attention.

The post, titled, "Always check your pets for ticks," functioned as a public service announcement for viewers seeing the resurfaced clip for the first time. The post had 30,600 upvotes since being shared on May 4 by Redditor @Chrissoy to the subreddit "Oddly Terrifying."

The photo, which has made its rounds online for a few years, showed a person's thumb lifting up a dog's mouth to reveal its teeth and gums. However, half of the body of a small brown tick was visibly burrowed into the canine's gums over a tooth.

The tick's legs hung off to either side of its body, touching against the dog's tooth. The skin around the dog's tooth was red and inflamed from the tick's burrowing, and it's unclear how long it had been there. Newsweek couldn't verify the original source of the image.

Ticks are parasitic arachnids that live by consuming the blood of a host, and they are the most active during the warm months, which include April through September, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They can be found in grasses and brush, as well as wooded areas, and even on animals.

Ticks can be picked up by dogs while outside and then attach to them, including inside their mouths, and it's something owners need to look out for.

The CDC recommends using tick prevention on dogs, which are highly susceptible to ticks. Vaccines aren't available for the majority of the diseases that dogs can catch from ticks either. Canines might not experience symptoms for seven to 21 days after being bitten by a tick.

It's also recommended to check dogs daily after being outside. If a tick is spotted, it's essential to remove it with a pair of tweezers or a tick removal hook.

According to the American Kennel Club, the diseases from ticks that are important to mention in dogs include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Bartonellosis, Babesiosis, and Hepatozoonosis.

Tick on plant
A photo PSA of a tick burrowed in a bizarre spot on a dog is terrifying the internet. Here, a tick on a plant. RISTO0/GETTY

Over 700 comments poured in over the image of the tick burrowed in a dog's gums, and people were shocked. "I was just thinking I needed new nightmares," a Redditor said. "Thanks."

Some weren't sure what to do if a tick is ever spotted on their dogs. "OK, but what do you do?" a user asked. "Straight to the vet? Put doggo under and extract?"

Another Redditor replied that you pull the tick out, "being careful not to decapitate (the tick... Or the dog. No decapitations. Period). If you lose the head in there, it may warrant a call to the vet."

Other comments included things like, "That will cause nasty gum infections," "Gotta throw the whole dog away," and "Yikes. Ouchies."

Ticks aren't a new occurrence for pet owners. "I always find three to four ticks on my cat every day, but d**n, never in [the] mouth," a Redditor said.

One Redditor wondered how the person found the tick. "This is the first time I've seen one inside the mouth," they said. "D**n those ticks!"

While some Redditors didn't mince words. "Nightmare fuel, and I don't even have a dog," a user admitted.

Some people were clearly put off by the photo. "F**king ticks," a Reddit user said. "Why did nature create these parasites?"

Newsweek reached out to Redditor @Chrissoy for comment.

This isn't the only viral post involving dogs. A dog carried a bag through a Victoria's Secret store. A puppy fell asleep while getting out of a dog bed in a viral photo. In addition, the internet is loving a dog's outfit used to ward off predators.