As the weather gets milder, external parasites are back, especially ticks.
Particularly tough pests and vectors of many diseases, it is therefore important to pay special attention to your dog’s coat when you come back from a walk and to remove them as soon as possible if they are present.
What is a tick?
Particularly present in spring and autumn, in gardens, parks and forests, the tick is a very resistant external parasite which clings to the skin of the dog during a walk and feeds on its blood. It attaches itself to certain privileged areas where the skin is thin, such as the neck or the ears…
There are three types of ticks:
- Ixodes: present in the whole in woods
- Dermacentor : it lives in the meadows and the edges
- Rhipicephalus : it is found in kennels and gardens
Why do we have to remove ticks ?
In case of a large infestation on the animal, ticks can cause anemia, but they are also vectors of serious diseases:
- Piroplasmosis: this pathology is the most frequent and counts about 140,000 cases per year. The red blood cells are destroyed because of a parasite that has passed into the blood of the female dog via the saliva of the tick. The damage to the vital organs can be very serious, even fatal.
- Lyme disease: common to both humans and dogs, it is a disease that is difficult to diagnose, hence the low number of cases reported, 500 per year, probably underestimated. The disease can occur several months after the tick bite and can leave serious after-effects.
- Ehrlichiosis: the bacteria carried by the tick multiply in the blood and cause high fever and hemorrhages. It can be fatal.
My dog has a tick, how do I remove it?
If you notice that a tick has attached itself to your dog, it is imperative to remove it as soon as possible.
It is not advised to remove it by hand, at the risk of making a bad manipulation, for example, leaving the head hooked, making the bloody parasite burst…
The most effective solution is the use of a tick forceps or tick hook. Simply place the head of the tick in the notch of the accessory, then turn to remove it completely and safely. After removing the parasite, the skin of the animal at the site of the bite should be disinfected with a suitable product.
How to act against ticks?
- When you return from each walk in risky areas, it is imperative to inspect your pet to check, or not, the presence of ticks.
- Protect your dog on a regular basis by treating it with an antiparasitic product that is effective against ticks, in the form of a pipette or collar.
- Have your dog vaccinated against piroplasmosis and Lyme disease.