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How do you treat ticks in dogs?

 Ticks are a parasite that frequently attacks dogs, but also humans and many species of animals. These mites live in vegetative environments and wait for a host to pass within their reach to latch onto and bite to feed on their blood. Unfortunately, ticks are responsible for many diseases in dogs, some of which are fatal. So it is better to act fast to treat them as soon as possible and prevent their invasion by using appropriate methods. Find out our advice on how to do that in this article.

 


What is a tick?

Ticks are small mites that live and breed in tall grass and vegetation. This tiny parasite attaches itself to animals and humans who pass within its reach. It rests on its skin and bites to pump its host's blood for several days before it inflates itself and falls to the ground. At first ticks are very conservative due to their small size. But as it is inflamed with blood, it enlarges and increases in size until it is clearly visible.

Ticks are not parasites that settle on a dog to multiply and invade its coat and environment. It is thus distinguished from fleas, lice, and other forms of colonial mites. It only uses its host to feed on blood. Very present in expanses of vegetation, fields, forests, parks and even gardens, it is patient, within easy reach of paws and legs to grab and feed on the first individual that comes too close.

Ticks are most prevalent in the fall and spring seasons, such as cool and humid climates and breed when temperatures are between 0°C and 20°C. As a result, you can meet them most of the year.

 

Why should a dog be protected from ticks?

It is difficult to detect ticks in a dog's coat, but it is necessary to protect the animal from the bites of this small parasite, as it is the cause of many diseases, some of which are serious and even fatal.

Tick ​​disease: The disease is transmitted by ticks when the tick itself is infected with a blood parasite that it inoculates into the dog. This destroys red blood cells and causes sudden fatigue, high fever, dark urine, and loss of appetite. Piroplasmosis can be treated with the right treatment, but it is essential to start it as soon as possible, otherwise the dog's health deteriorates to the point of death within a few days.

Ehrlich disease: This disease is caused by a bacterium transmitted by brown dog ticks found around the Mediterranean basin during a bite that attacks white blood cells. The animal quickly suffers from anemia, fever, fatigue and nosebleeds. If a blood test can diagnose it, Ehrlichiosis can kill an infected dog in two days or less.

Lyme disease: This is an infectious disease caused by the bite of a tick that carries a bacterium of the genus Borrelia .It causes high fever, loss of appetite, joint and muscle pain. If it can be treated with antibiotics, borreliosis must be dealt with quickly to avoid it becoming chronic.

tick-borne encephalitis ( VMET ).): This viral disease is transmitted by ticks infected with the VMET virusHowever, it is mainly observed in dogs with weakened immune systems.

Babesiosis: This condition is transmitted to dogs by the bite of a tick infected with a parasite of the genus Babesia, which then attacks the white blood cells of the animal.

Anaplasmosis: It is transmitted to dogs by ticks already infected with bacteria of the genus Anaplasmosis.

 

How do you treat ticks in dogs?

To treat ticks in dogs, there are several solutions. While the tick hook remains the most immediate weapon, other devices are effective in eliminating parasites and preventing their invasion.

 

Tick ​​hook for removing ticks

A tick hook is the best way to promptly remove a tick attached to a dog. This solution is preferred, because it makes it possible to remove all of the parasites, without risking leaving the head in place under the skin or releasing the contents of the tick (and its infectious agents) into the dog's organism. Note that tweezers should be avoided altogether, as they do not allow the removal of the entire body of the parasite, and also Products such as ether, solvent or oil, which cause the invader to release their toxins into the dog's skin. When a tick is improperly removed, its head and hook remain stuck to its host's skin and form a cyst in which it can become infected.

The tick puller is very easy to use, provided you do the right thing:

Place the tick puller on the dog's skin;

Place it under the tick's head and pull gently in a circular or rotating motion, as if you were unscrewing the cap.

Verify that the tick has been completely removed.

Immediately disinfect the wound with a solution suitable for dogs.

Kill the tick by burning it or wrapping it in a piece of duct tape before disposing of it.

Watch the bite area carefully for some time. If a circular redness forms around the bite, the animal may have Lyme disease. In either case, in the event of fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight, urination problems, bleeding or suspicious symptoms in the following days and weeks, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.

 

Curative and preventive solutions

There are several treatments that can be used to eliminate existing parasites and prevent their recurrence. In therapeutic use, it is particularly effective when the animal is attacked by several ticks at the same time.

Anti-tick shampoos and sprays: These specially formulated anti-tick products are effective in eliminating parasites in a dog's coat. However, their work is generally short-lived.

Anti-tick pipettes: easy to use, they allow a topical application to treat the entire body of the dog within 24 hours. However, if it is to be effective, the invasion must be moderate.

Tick ​​Repellent Spray: This solution is useful for getting rid of multiple ticks on an animal that cannot handle it or that has a thick coat that is difficult to treat. The action of these sprays is almost immediate and their protective action lasts for about a month.

 

What is the prevention against dog ticks?

Ideally, it is better to prevent a tick attack than to have to treat it. It is therefore recommended to protect your little companion in order to avoid the bites of these parasites and the dangerous diseases that are likely to accompany them.

To do this, there are several methods and preventative solutions that prevent parasites from clinging to your dog:

Tick ​​collars are a good long-acting solution to preventing infestations, but they are most effective around the dog's neck.

The anti-tick lozenges and sprays, whose curative action has already been mentioned, are also effective in prevention because they repel the parasites for a certain period of time after administration;

Some diseases caused by tick bites can be prevented with vaccination.

In addition to these preventive solutions, certain actions should be taken to avoid the invasion of these parasites or, at least, to reduce the risks

Don't let your animal roam in tall grass and woodland and encourage it to stay on trails in green spaces;

After every walk, check your dog's coat and promptly remove any ticks you see with a tick puller.

 

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