In the spring, with the onset of the first warm days, people who often go out into nature or work in gardens and suburban areas face a serious problem — ticks. It also applies to Pets that accompany their owners everywhere. And, even more so.
Our four-legged friends are much closer to the ground than we are, they like to play in the fresh grass and even lie in it. But they are almost defenseless against the insidious enemy, while we wear special shoes, trousers and long-sleeve shirts. How to protect your dog from possible danger?
What you need to know about ticks
To successfully fight the enemy, you need to know him “in person”.
Ticks (of whatever kind) are carnivorous parasites: some feed on the animal’s blood, others on the skin, and others on lymph and skin secretions. One of the most common problems is ear mites in dogs. This is the so-called ixod mite, which gets into the animal’s ear and remains there after the bite.
Signs of its presence — debilitating itching, which is so disturbing that the dog, scratching the itchy place, scratches it in the blood. The next symptoms that an ear mite has settled in dogs for a long time are brown, unpleasant — smelling discharge from the ear. You can’t ignore these symptoms, just as you can’t allow the owner to carry out any treatment without seeking help from a specialist.
Subcutaneous mite in dogs, as its name implies, damages the inner part of the epidermis, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands. Symptoms of the bite are painful itching, the formation of small sores and wounds. A dog that has been bitten by a tick makes the situation worse by constantly combing and enlarging the wounds, as a result of which the infection penetrates deeper into the body and can get into various internal organs.
Subcutaneous mites in dogs, just like ear mites in dogs, can be carriers of dangerous diseases. For example, it can be borreliosis (also called Lyme disease). In Pets, the disease often causes lameness. Also, ticks can cause piroplasmosis in dogs — a dangerous disease in which, after a bite, the pathogen (microorganism) enters the blood and multiplies very actively in the red blood cells of the animal.
At first, the dog’s health is not a concern, but very soon there are really serious symptoms — the color of the urine becomes greenish-brown, and sometimes black. Sometimes dog owners say that in the summer these signs are very difficult to control and because of this, treatment does not begin in a timely manner.
According to experts, the symptoms of diseases caused by tick bites are very difficult to assess correctly. High temperature? But it can accompany many other diseases. Lethargy, unwillingness to play and refusal to eat will also not help in establishing an accurate diagnosis. Moreover, the owners are inclined to write off all this at the expense of hot weather, when a person himself does not want to eat, move, or communicate.
In any case, whatever caused your pet’s fever, this is a reason to seek help from a veterinarian. If the dog vomits, and there is blood in the urine or its color has changed dramatically, contact the veterinarian immediately.
Causes of problems, which animals are more susceptible
Unfortunately, the causes of problems associated with tick bites are objective, predetermined by nature itself. To a lesser extent, they concern “urban” animals that are walked in parks and squares — there are usually several times during the “tick season” preventive treatment is carried out. Our smaller brothers, who live with their owners in villages, in dachas, have a much higher risk of being bitten by a tick.
Puppies are particularly susceptible to attacks by the insidious enemy. Their soft skin and not as thick as that of adults make them defenseless.
What should I do? Folk means of prevention are ineffective, however, according to experienced dog breeders, it is useful from time to time to do four-legged Pets “washing”with tar soap and wormwood decoction. The smell for some time is able to deceive and mislead the tick.
As a protective tool for the dog, a light jumpsuit for walking can be used. It is also necessary to protect Pets from contact with yard dogs that are constantly at risk.
Current tips and recommendations. Current trends
The only effective protection of the animal is treatment with special preparations containing so — called acaricides. Prevention products are available in the form of drops, sprays and aerosols. You can even buy special tick – repelling collars.
For example, a subcutaneous tick in dogs rarely manifests itself if it was treated with the drug “Advantix” or used an antiparasitic collar “Foresto”. The good news is that all types of ticks are sensitive to these drugs, and the duration of the drugs is quite long.
For example, a few drops of “Advantix” is enough to spray on the withers of the animal once a month. The effectiveness of the drug — from 98.5 to one hundred percent, it is directed not only against ticks, but also against other blood-sucking mosquitoes, flies, fleas. Foresto has been operating effectively for eight months. In addition, this collar is water — resistant, so it will be very useful if you spend your vacation with your dog near a reservoir.
It is very important to check the expiration date and the integrity of the package when purchasing a product. Otherwise, it may happen that you will be sure that you have protected your pet from ticks, and in fact the drug will be useless.
In some animals, by the way, it can cause signs of allergies, but this happens very rarely.
How to remove a tick from a dog
If the dog lives in nature, often accompanies you on trips to the river and in the forest, it can be attacked by several ticks at once. Getting everyone out individually is not an easy task. In this case, pet stores offer special shampoos: they help to destroy those who have stuck, as well as tick larvae.
If you go this way, do not forget to change the dog’s “bedding” more often, or at least shake them out thoroughly, because the larvae may remain on the litter.
When the dog is attacked by individual representatives of harmful arthropods, do not be lazy to examine your pet after each walk. Be sure to check the armpits on the front paws, groin area, stomach and, of course, the ears.
How to remove a tick from a dog? Most often, this is done with vegetable or machine oil, vaseline, and even nail Polish. One of these substances should be dropped on the tick and wait a few minutes until the tick loosens its grip (if you are lucky, it may fall off without your participation). Then try deleting it.
You need to do this with gloves (so as not to get infected yourself), armed with tweezers — carefully, as if twisting. The direction is counterclockwise. How to remove a tick from a dog with a thread? First of all, make sure that the thread is strong and will not let you down at the most crucial moment. Then tie it closer to the proboscis. Pull the ends of the thread in both directions, while pulling the insect up.
It is important to get the tick completely, because if its proboscis or head remains in the wound, the problem will not be solved, the risk of infection will still remain relevant.
If the head still came off and remained in the wound, it looks like a black dot. Remember how you had to remove a splinter from your finger and do the same using a regular needle.
Complete the “operation” by wiping the wound with iodine or Zelenka.
By the way, scientific and technological progress does not stand still: pharmacies have original devices, with their help you will be able to help your pet faster and better than using tweezers and thread.
How can a veterinarian help you?
Caring owners usually try to solve all problems on their own, without resorting to the help of a veterinarian. And sometimes its services are not available at all, if you, for example, went with your four-legged friend on a long journey. Still, there are situations when you can’t do without a specialist. This applies to determining the exact diagnosis, as well as treatment in particularly difficult cases, and from ticks you can expect major troubles.
In addition, if you were not able to pull the tick out of the wound unharmed, you will also need the help of a veterinarian. It also happens that the tick partially got under the skin of the animal – only a specialist will be able to extract it from there.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and I’m a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.