Let’s see how to recognize dog ticks, what are the symptoms and how to remove them.
In this article, we will analyze the subject of ticks in dogs. This problem should not be underestimated: the tick is a parasite that feeds on blood. She is therefore constantly looking for a live animal to attach to begin her sumptuous meal.
It is easy to recognize: the most common ticks in dogs are rounded, flat if still “fasting” and swollen if full of blood, dark in color, with eight legs and sizes ranging from 2 millimeters to more than 10 , also according to the species to which they belong.
When the tick inserts the rostrum into the skin of the victim, a hook located above the mouth, the dog feels no pain because a substance with anesthetic properties is present in the saliva of the parasite. .
Once hooked on all fours, the tick begins to suck the blood, to fill and to grow; usually remains attached for a period of 2 to 7 days, until it is “satisfied”, after which it comes off spontaneously and if it is a female, it will drop the eggs.
In order to minimize the risk of your dog coming home with a tick stuck on the skin, prevention is always the best weapon: there are now different types of pesticides for ticks, specially designed for this purpose, in the form: necklaces , pipettes, sprays, to apply periodically depending on the product you choose (from monthly to quarterly).
There are also other items that are not effective at the preventive level, but are useful in the unfortunate case that the dog presents with a tick infestation, such as shampoos and pesticides.
Dog ticks: symptoms
It is also important to identify as early as possible the presence of ticks in dogs: to do this, it is advisable to check carefully all four paws, especially every time you come back from a walk in the countryside, in a forest or on a lawn. The mint does not jump, unlike the flea, but waits for his “victim” placed on the plants, on the blades of grass, on the low branches, ready to pass to the animal as soon as it passes.
The owner should inspect the dog, possibly with a narrow-toothed comb, to spot the tick in the middle of the fur, paying more attention to certain points such as the ears, toes of the legs , under the belly. on the muzzle and in all areas where the hair is less dense and the tick prefers, because it can more easily reach the dog’s skin and hook.
Even if the dog rubs regularly in the same place, it is advisable to check the absence of parasite, because ticks cause itching during feeding.
Dog ticks: how to remove them?
Despite the correct and consistent use of pesticides, it can happen that a tick sticks to your dog. how to remove dog ticks?
First, do not follow a common misconception that the use of oils, creams, alcohol, etc., would force the parasite to “pull the head”, which would facilitate its extraction; In reality, these substances would cause the tick to regurgitate, thus increasing the possibility of transmission of diseases to its “guest” if it was infected.
The correct behavior to adopt to eliminate dog ticks is to use a thin tweezers, preferably if it is curved, but the tweezers for the eyebrows can also be good; then grasp the parasite as close as possible to the dog’s skin and gently pull it while trying to rotate it slightly anti-clockwise until you feel the tick’s resistance, which can then be removed completely.
In fact, it is important that the tick be removed alive and whole, so do not tear it and be careful not to crush the body, otherwise you could leak potentially infected material. For the same reason, the tick should not be crushed, even once extracted from the dog, especially since, if it is a woman, it would also cause the egg laying, with the risk of infestation that implies ; instead, it is necessary to eliminate the parasite by dipping it in alcohol or burning it.
Ticks in dogs: danger is contagion!
As mentioned, ticks stick to any warm-blooded animal, including humans! We must therefore be careful not only of our dog, but also of ourselves: we could indeed be struck by the parasite during the four-legged walk and later; in fact, our dog can serve as a carrier to the tick, which does not stick to him, protected by the pesticide, but to us!
In addition to being boring and certainly not very pleasing to the eye, ticks can be dangerous when infected; during the sucking phase, it can inoculate certain microorganisms responsible for diseases that must be recognized and treated in time, such as:
-recurrent tick fever
As for ticks in dogs, in humans as well, they must be eliminated with the same technique and as soon as possible, because the infection is less likely in the first 48 hours. Then, it is necessary to observe the affected area for at least 40 days and, if you notice a redness that tends to spread, or other symptoms such as fever, headache or joint pain, you should contact your doctor who, if he deems it appropriate, may administer the specific antibiotic therapy.