As the weather warms, all people with their four-legged pets begin to spend more time outdoors, in parks, going to summer cottages, forests, or villages. But with warming, ticks also appear – parasites, from which both humans and dogs can suffer.
Ticks in dogs can hide in the most inaccessible places for a pet. Therefore, every dog owner needs to know where to look for ectoparasites on the pet’s body, how to properly pull it out, the first signs of a tick bite, and the symptoms of diseases that could transmit to your pet.
How to Detect Ticks
Alas, no one is immune from the attack of ticks. Therefore, the first piece of advice for the owner is to examine your pet after any walk. But ticks are insidious creatures, they know how to hide well, and sometimes they are extremely difficult to find.
Mites are subcutaneous and ear mites. If there is still a possibility of detecting a subcutaneous mite, then it is almost impossible to do it with an ear mite. Therefore, it is necessary to observe the dog and, take the necessary measures if strange symptoms are detected.
Tick Bite Symptoms
You may not even notice any obvious and strong signs immediately after the bite. But in a day or two, if you have not yet removed the parasite, the general condition of your pet may change:
- the animal may become lethargic and begin to refuse to eat;
- in the place where the tick has stuck to the dog, itching may appear, so your pet may begin to itch or rub against everything;
- if it is an ear mite, then brown discharge with an unpleasant odor may appear;
- an increase in the body temperature of the animal from normal to 40-41 C is possible;
- an admixture of blood in the urine, yellowing of the whites of the eyes – these are symptoms that require a quick visit to the veterinarian.
How to Remove a Tick From a Dog’s Body
If your pet has been bitten by a tick, then don’t panic. Calm down, it is better to seek help from a qualified specialist. But, if at the moment you do not have such an opportunity, then removal of the parasite is possible at home:
- The place where the tick has adhered to your pet must be lubricated with oil, this will weaken its “grip” (sometimes it happens that the parasite itself falls off and no more mechanical action is needed with it).
- After 8-15 seconds, turn the tick counterclockwise using tweezers. It is very important to remove the parasite completely without leaving its head in your pet’s body.
- After removal, it is necessary to treat the bite site with an alcohol solution or 5% iodine solution.
What Diseases do Ticks Carry?
The most dangerous disease for dogs that ticks can reward them is piroplasmosis. Unfortunately, this is not just a dangerous, but fatal disease. Today there are highly effective medicines for the treatment of this disease, but their effectiveness depends on the condition of the animal, that is, the earlier treatment is started, the more chances for the animal to survive. Symptoms of piroplasmosis include dark brownish urine, discoloration of mucous membranes and whites of the eyes to yellow, lethargy, weakness during gait, increased body temperature. Treatment of this disease should take place only under the supervision of a veterinarian, it includes removing the intoxication of the dog’s body and maintaining its general condition, and, of course, the destruction of the pathogen.
Ticks also carry diseases such as Lyme disease, which can cause arthritis and swelling of the dog’s joints, and hemobartonellosis, but it rarely causes any clinical symptoms in dogs.
Prevention of Tick Bites
For these blood-sucking parasites not to disturb your four-legged friend, it is necessary to carry out special prophylaxis. Today, there are a huge number of tools that can prevent tick bites, these are shampoos, sprays, collars, and even special drops on the withers of an animal. The drugs differ not only in the form of release but also in the active substance. They are distributed over the skin and hair of the animal and later, getting on the pet, the tick immediately dies. But, unfortunately, even all these drugs are not able to give one hundred percent guarantee. Their effectiveness depends on how long ago a particular drug was applied to your pet’s skin. It is best to seek help from a veterinarian, and he will be able to choose the most suitable substance for your pet. Also, there is a special vaccination against piroplasmosis.
Ticks are not a reason to close at home and quietly be afraid to go outside. Spend as much time in nature as you want, just watch your pet, try to avoid tall grass, and do not forget about prevention, and then everyone will be healthy and happy!