Throat leeches resembled small wooden twigs about one inch (2.5 centimeters) long.
If ingested, a throat leech attached itself to the inside of the victim's throat and began sucking blood until it was sated or until it was removed or killed. It took a full ten minutes to sate a throat leech, swelling as it fed, but during that time the victim had a serious chance to choke to death. If magical methods like cure disease were not available, the best way to kill a throat leech was to pierce it with a heated wire or other thin, sharp object that would fit into the victim's mouth. The hot wire caused the leech to burst and die. It took a steady and dexterous hand to successfully skewer a throat leech without further harming the victim.
The throat leech was known to inhabit the High Moor, but it could survive in any body of fresh water. Careful filtering of water before drinking was one sure way to prevent accidental ingestion.