Ticks: Pests That Feed On Your Pets

By Valdette Muller| November 28, 2017 | Blog


Sometimes you can feel a tick or two when you pet your cat or dog.

Unlike fleas, ticks are larger and more obvious when looking for pests on your pet.

They tend to be large enough to see, ticks can also be found around the ears, paws, head or neck area of your pet. These areas are warmer, more enclosed and have a better supply of blood vessels for a tick to suck on.

Ticks carry diseases that can make your pet extremely ill, some which can be fatal. It is important to remove any ticks from your pet as soon as you find them.

Safe ways to remove ticks from your pet.

Some people suggest that you try a bit of petrol, nail polish, petroleum jelly, alcohol, or a hot match on the tick. Please Do Not Do This! These methods can force infected fluids back into your pet from the tick leaving your pet worse off.istock_rf_illustration_of_tick_removal

Instead please try:

  • Grasping the tick with tweezers from the side, by its head, closer to your pet’s skin.
  • Pulling the tick’s head up straight. Do not twist it.
  • Do not squeeze (or pop!) the tick’s bloated belly as this may squeeze all the tick’s toxic juices into your pet.

A  tick’s perfect habitat. 

Ticks love grassy areas, ticks climb to the top of the tallest stems waiting for a host to pass by.

This way they can catch a lift from a passing host that brushes past, un-aware that they had taken on a stowaway.

The tick will then hold on and make its way to the warmest part of the host’s body, the warmer it feels, the more blood vessels it finds.

A cat or dog who goes for a run or stroll through a grassy area will most likely pick up ticks.

Ticks breed well through the warmer seasons and an adult tick can live up to 3 years waiting without blood.

Signs of tick-borne diseases.

Ticks can carry diseases that pose a serious threat to animals and humans. Illnesses transmitted by ticks can cause fever, anaemia, paralysis/lameness and death.

A human can become infected with African Tick Bite Fever (ATBF) from a tick and become gravely ill if that same tick has been biting a dog that is infected with the same disease.

Lyme disease (Borreliosis), ATBF, and Ehrlichiosis cause similar symptoms in dogs, including:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint swelling or pain
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Anaemia
  • Skin irritations and infections
  • Paralysis

Treatment for these diseases and symptoms is a must to prevent a fatality. Tick-borne diseases are not as common in cats, but cats can still get a tick infection called Cytauxzoonosis, which is unfortunately often fatal.

Do your best to keep ticks off your cats, dogs and out of your home.

Please ask your vet about lyme disease (Borreliosis) vaccinations for your dogs. Especially if you live in a highly tick populated area.

Tick paralyses is when a tick infects your dog or cat with a toxin that makes muscles weak. Most pets recover quickly once you remove the ticks. 

The best tick prevention products for the job.Advantage_Dog_4-10kg_j137-zc

Spot-on treatments: Fiprotec, Advantix, and Frontline are just a few of the spot on products that can be used to prevent ticks. These treatments are effective at keeping parasites at bay. While these medications are great, you still need to be careful about which one you use. Please make sure you read all labels carefully, also be sure to get advice from your veterinarian before application.Bravecto

Oral medications: Oral tick and flea medications should only be used or re-administered on the times proscribed on the packaging, so please read carefully before using on your pet. Bravecto is a chewable tablet for dogs that works for up to 12 weeks and can be re-administered to your pet after 12 weeks. Bravecto can be mixed in your dogs food or given by hand since it is very palatable. NexGard Tick & Flea Tabs 3-Pack is another great product for dogs in a chewable tablet form, recommended by vets.

Shampoos: Products such as Secta Shampoo or Vets Own Tick & Flea Shampoo are good medicated shampoos for killing ticks and fleas. However if in a week you find that ticks are still on your pet, please check that your pets bedding has been washed and that your home has been eradicated of ticks as well.Secta_Shampoo

Tick and flea Collars: Seresto Collars are great for giving an additional prevention against ticks, fleas, eggs and larva. The collar provides lasting treatment that is slowly and continuously distributed over eight months against fleas and ticks. The collar is also equipped with a safety release mechanism in the unlikely event of the cat or dog being trapped or hooked.Seresto

Powders: Ultrum Powder is great product used not only for ticks but also fleas, feather mites, red mites and lice on dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and birds. It is also safe to use on rabbits. Vets Own Tick & Flea Powder is another great product used by vets that controls ticks and fleas on dogs and cats. Powders should be used with care during application, be careful not to get it your pet’s eyes or near the mouth and nose as they might inhale the powder by mistake. Use small amounts and slowly rub it into the skin

Sprays: Ultrum Ultimate SprayFiprotec spray for dogs and Frontline Spray are of the best treatment for the prevention of infestation of fleas and ticks on dogs and cats. Tick spray kills ticks quickly and provides a residual protection. Sprays can be used in between baths, and are great to use on your pet before spending time outside. Make sure to spray away from your pet’s face and to not use it on any other animal in your home.

Sources: https://www.thespruce.com/all-about-ticks-1117829



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