A teenage dog owner is being investigated for animal abuse after police found his pet being eaten alive by hundreds of ticks.
The incident was reported in the city of Poio, in the north-west Spanish province of Pontevedra.
Police say they have now opened a criminal investigation against the 19-year-old suspect, who has not been named, for putting his dog’s life and that of others around him in danger.
Ticks are small arachnids, called garrapatas in Spanish, which are part of the Parasitiformes family.
These parasites attach themselves to animals by burrowing into the skin to feed on their blood, and can be very difficult to remove.
Ticks also carry at least twelve diseases that affect humans and animals that can be transmitted to the host after biting.
According to local media, a volunteer from an animal organisation saw the dog’s terrible state and informed the police.
Local media report that the male dog was found by police covered in hundreds of the parasites.
The dog was taken to a veterinary clinic and treated by vets who told local media that if he hadn’t been brought in when he had, the dog would have died soon.
The vets described his condition as in a total state of abandonment.
There is no further information as to whether the dog has been found a new home.
Police continue to investigate the case.