Does the time a tick remains on a host, and the 'health' of a tick vary depending on the location where it feeds on the host? Do they change locations on the host to find a better environment?

I recently realized that what I thought was a skin blemish on our dog was in fact a tick (it was there for weeks-- our dog gets occasional skin growths on her head and perhaps I have been distracted). This tick was on her snout-- and dog ticks most commonly attach to the head, neck and ears. Ticks frequently get ticks on their head and ears because they stick their head (snouts!) into everything. Apparently, different species will stay and feed for different durations (7-10 days for many, but male American Dog Ticks can remain on the host for an indefinite period of time alternately feeding and mating. This made me think-- how does finding a very exposed part of a host (snout) affect the health of a tick and the duration of their time on the host? At some point might they decide they need to find a better habitat and move?

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    $\begingroup$ Can't be answered the way it's asked; what species of tick? It has nothing to do with bone, and a lot to do with skin thickness. Dog ticks "fall" onto victims, so scalp will be common for people, scalp/back/neck for deer, etc. (Your source refers humans.) Deer ticks are mostly on the ground, and crawl up, so leg/groin are good places. Your dog probably had this tick, gotten from sniffing the ground. They're small, and dog nose epidermis is thin (despite appearances), so they'll dig right in. Thin epidermis means capillaries are near the surface, so within reach for small ticks. $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2022 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse Thanks for info & guidance on revising my question. Perhaps it still needs help, and I'm assuming it is a dog tick (I don't actually know). $\endgroup$
    – Shannon
    Feb 11, 2022 at 1:03
  • $\begingroup$ Dog ticks are big, even the nymphs. It would be very surprising if you didn't notice a dog tick on your dog's nose, because they're big, and when engorged, they are so distended it's disgusting (I don't like ticks.) And no, they don't move around after they've started feeding, maybe because a fully engorged tick can't walk. They drop to the ground and lay eggs. I've read some of what you refer to. $\endgroup$ Feb 11, 2022 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ BTW, read carefully. Your article (which I just read) stated male ticks alternately feed and mate; females become engorged. Male ticks do not become engorged. Which further complicated your question. $\endgroup$ Feb 11, 2022 at 14:28


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