What are ticks?
At this time of year, we see a large increase in the number of pets, especially dogs presenting to the vet with ticks. A tick is a blood sucking external parasite found mainly in grassland and wooded areas. They wait on the edge of the grass and can detect a passing mammal by smell. When a dog passes the tick, they latch on to their fur and make their way onto the skin where they gorge on blood. Ticks break the skin of the animal with their mouthparts to feed on the blood and lymph of the animal. They deliver a small amount of local anaesthetic in their saliva to prevent the animal from noticing the initial bite, when they are full, they will fall away themselves.
Why are they a problem?
The problem with Ticks is not generally the damage they do through sucking blood, more that they carry diseases that can be passed to the animal that they are feeding from. The longer they are there, the higher the risk that they will pass disease into the bloodstream of the animal. In greater numbers, they will cause anaemia to the animal.
The most common Tick in Ireland is the Ixodes Rinicus, more commonly known as The Castor Bean Tick.
To remove a tick properly, the mouthparts must be fully removed also. The most common area to find ticks are on the abdomen, in the ears, and in skin folds. You can remove a singular tick with a tick remover by holding the tick close to the front of its body, where its attached and slowly pulling it straight up. Once the tick is removed, the area should be disinfected.
The best way to rid your animal of ticks is to treat them with a spot on which usually lasts 6-8 weeks and will kill the tick once it feeds, or a tablet which will last 10-12 weeks. Even if you successfully remove a tick, you should always treat the animal as you may not have seen if it is carrying more ticks.
We carry a number of products in Arena which we have found to be effective in the treatment of ticks.
Frontline – spot-on, for dogs and cats, kills fleas and ticks, works within 48 hours and lasts for 4 weeks.
Broadline – spot-on, for cats only, kills fleas, worms and ticks, works within 48 hours, lasts 3 weeks for ticks
Bravecto – tablet, for dogs only,
Kills fleas and ticks, works within 8 hours for fleas & 12 hours for ticks, lasts 12 weeks.
Prac-tic – spot-on, for fleas and ticks, lasts 4 weeks.
If you need any further information or advice, please call us on 053 9142891 or make an appointment to see a vet.
*Main image credit esccapuk.org.uk