Your companion (dog or cat) can catch ticks, which are external parasites that are seen most frequently from spring to fall, although they can be found all year round.
The tick is a parasite of the family of mites which measures from 3 mm to 2 cm depending on the species and according to its state of repletion (that is to say if it has gorged itself with blood or not). Their body is oval and has 8 legs. The head of the tick (we do say a tick and not a tick) has two appendages that sink into the parasitized animal (your cat or your dog, but it can also parasitize you). Ticks attach themselves mainly to areas where the skin is thinner, between the fingers, at the end of the legs or on the contrary at their base (armpits, groins), on the muzzle…
The tick only remains attached for the time it takes to take its blood meal (usually this meal lasts several days), then it drops into the environment.
Ticks are found mainly in brushy places, near rivers, in woods, meadows, but also in parks, gardens, and even in kennels.
Why should ticks be removed?
The tick is a parasite that feeds on your pet’s blood, that’s already a good reason to eliminate it! But the tick can also be a vector of diseases. These diseases are called vector-borne diseases. Indeed, during its blood meal, the tick gorges itself on the blood of an animal that may have a disease. During its next blood meal, on a healthy animal, the tick can inoculate this disease. The vector-borne diseases most transmitted by ticks vary by country. In France, these diseases are, for the main ones: babesiosis (also known as piroplasmosis), borreliosis (or Lyme disease), ehrlichiosis, hemobartonellosis….
It is therefore essential to inspect your pet each time you return from a walk and immediately remove ticks with the help of a natural tick remover for cats.
The right “tool”.
Removing a tick requires having a good tool. You will thus find tick hooks, over the counter in veterinary clinics. These hooks look like little plastic crowbars.
The curved part has a slot. You will slide the tick’s head into this slot without firing. Once the tick’s head is in place, and still without pulling, take the handle of the hook between your thumb and forefinger and turn the hook several times until the tick comes off. There is no need to shoot! This technique is painless for your companion.
Then apply a non-stinging disinfectant and destroy the tick.
This hook is safe to use on dogs and cats. It comes in two sizes depending on the size of the tick.
Anti-tick pens only for dogs! There are pens or applicators that kill the tick. They must be applied directly to the tick. But beware, the antiparasitic they contain is extremely toxic for cats! They should therefore not be administered to cats. If so, call the veterinary clinic urgently.
Not to do!
When removing a tick, it is very important not to make mistakes. Here are the most common:
Do not press on the body of the tick. Indeed, if you pinch or press on the tick’s body, you increase the risk of transmitting vector-borne diseases potentially carried by the tick.
Do not shoot the tick. The two mouth appendages that attach the tick to your pet are firmly embedded in the skin. If you pull on it, you risk tearing off the tick’s body but leaving the head in the skin. If so, do not panic, contrary to a legend sometimes heard, the body of the tick does not grow back. On the other hand, the head remaining in the skin can create an inflammation and an abscess, which your veterinarian will be able to treat, if necessary.
You should not use alcohol, ether, or any other tick remover for dogs. These products are ineffective and dangerous. In the same way, we do not burn ticks attached to an animal!
When should you consult your veterinarian?
When you observe a very large number of ticks on your animal.
If you notice the appearance of the following symptoms in the days or weeks following the removal of the tick: fever, lack of appetite, depression, urine darker than normal, lameness… But don’t panic, not all ticks necessarily transmit a vector-borne disease.
Against ticks, the best is still to prevent an infestation. To do this, regularly treat your animal with an external parasiticide adapted to your animal (cat or dog), its weight and its lifestyle. Find out more from the caregiver at your veterinary clinic who knows these products, their indications, their contraindications and how to apply them.
Good anti-tick gestures:
Prevent by using an external parasiticide.
Examine his companion on his return from a walk.
Remove ticks with a hook.
Consult in case of symptoms.