Ticks are definitely a frightening enemy that none of us would want to find in our dog, another pet, or in our body. Despite the unpleasant image of the tick, they are most frightening in that they can transmit diseases and even cause anemia or paralysis. As dog owners and lovers, you need to know the most important things about tick risk, prevention, and tick extraction. With the right knowledge, you will protect your pets from the threat of ticks.
Ticks – what is it?
Ticks are arthropod parasites that feed on the blood of the wearer. They are attracted to the warmth and movement commonly found on mammals – including dogs. Ticks tend to hide in tall grass or on plants in wooded areas and wait for suitable carrier to pass. When they find a wearer, the ticks look for the most suitable place in the body to suck in, so that they can begin to feed on the blood.
Once restrained, mites do not disengage until they have drawn enough blood. This period can range from a few hours to days depending on the type of mite. In the body of a dog, ticks usually cling to wrinkles, folds or low-haired areas of the body: usually around the ears, on the inner sides of the feet, where the feet connect to the body, between the toes.
Dangers Of Ticks
Although ticks are the most feared of the diseases they cause, they are not transmitted by all – in fact, most ticks do not transmit any diseases. However, the threat always remains and should be taken very seriously. Many tick-borne diseases spread to the wearer‘s body in just a few hours, so the sooner a tick is detected and removed, the lower the chances of the disease.
Symptoms of tick-borne illness may include fever, lethargy, weakness, slowness, joint swelling and / or anemia. Some ticks can cause a temporary condition called tick-borne paralysis, which occurs gradually: starting from difficulty walking, it gradually progresses to paralysis.
Treatment is started by removing the tick. If you notice similar symptoms in your dog, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to have the necessary tests and appropriate treatment given.
The most common tick-borne diseases are:
- Lyme disease
- Spotted typhus
Tick Detection And Extraction
When looking for ticks, rub your hands gently over your dog‘s body, especially with your fingers, skin folds and cracks. You can wear latex gloves.
Examine the detected bumps carefully by spreading your Australian Shepherds fur, making sure there is enough light for good vision (inspect in a well-lighted room). Depending on the type and stage of development of the tick, the tick can be both the point of a pencil and the size of the bean (sucking blood).
If a lot of ticks are found in your area, or your Australian Shepherd spends a lot of time running around tall grass and forest, look for ticks once or twice a day. If you find a tick, remove it properly.
Do this as follows:
- Wear gloves for protection. Simple tweezers or special tweezers should be used to pull ticks. Grasp the tick at the suction place – this should be done as close to the skin as possible.
- Be very careful not to crush or crush the body of the tick as bacteria and diseases can spread.
- Slowly and firmly (without twisting) pull the tick straight out of the skin. A little bit of a dog‘s skin may pull out along with the mite, but this is normal. If it starts to bleed, hold it gently.
- Keep the removed tick carefully. While most people would rather just flush them down the toilet, keeping it and putting it in for research would also be a smart decision. Place the tick in a small container (from a medicine bottle, etc.).
- Write down the date and keep it for a while. If you start to develop signs of the infection, the tick may be useful for you to test for the disease.
- In case, if part of the tick‘s head is left in the skin, try gently removing it with tweezers. Do not worry If you still can‘t completely remove it. Eventually, the head will fall out or swell, but this rarely causes complications.
- After removing the tick, wipe the dog‘s skin at the bite site with mild soap and water. Monitor this are for a few days for irritation or infection. If the place does not calm down and heal within a few days, we advise you to consult a veterinarian.
There is no way for the tick to detach itself from the wearer – it will not fall out until it is fully absorbed. Do not try to add nail polish, alcohol or other chemicals to it. These techniques are ineffective and also can be harmful to the dog.
Protections Against Ticks
The best way to protect your dog from the dangers of ticks is to avoid touching them at all. As we mentioned earlier, regular inspections must be carried out. Detecting ticks before they are absorbed will help prevent them, but it is not the most reliable way to protect them. To reduce the amount of ticks in your yard, make sure the grass is cut and the trees are properly pruned.
You can also choose to control ticks with pesticides, but make sure that this measure is safe for dogs, you and the environment.
One of the most effective methods of protection is means applied directly to the dog‘s body. Special products for dogs such as drops and collars provide long-term protection against parasites. Always use these products as directed, as they may contain toxic substances. Do not use the product more than instructed, and remember that the product is suitable for dogs and may be toxic to cats. However, keep in mind that these remedies may not work for your dog, so always check for ticks and take appropriate actions to eliminate them.