Ticks are external parasites that are often found in dogs. Those that are also called acarid arachnids measure only a few millimeters. Ticks feed on the blood of dogs, they can transmit serious and sometimes even fatal diseases. How to treat these ticks? Here are 8 methods you should know.
What is a tick?
A tick is a parasite that, like spiders, belongs to the mite family. These include no less than 50,000 species. The tick is also called Ixodida, more than 40 species inhabit French soil. Ticks can live on animals, especially dogs. They attach themselves to canines thanks to their rostrum, a kind of beak, which they plant in the skin. They pump the animal’s blood for food for 2 to 3 days and then drop to the ground.
It should be noted that ticks in themselves are not dangerous. Because they are only a few millimeters long, the amount of blood drawn is too small. However, ticks can carry disease and infect canines.
Where do dogs get ticks?
Of course, you have to fear ticks. But how do these mites get on animals? Ticks develop when the room temperature is cool to warm. They can reproduce between 0 ° and 20 ° C. In France, they are therefore present all year round! If the temperatures drop or on the contrary if they rise, the ticks drop to the ground to protect themselves. When the temperature suits them, they gain height above the plants and then take up residence in a dog, a cat or even a human!
Dogs can therefore catch ticks in the garden or during a walk. Mites are particularly prevalent in spring and fall. They favor parts of the body where the skin is thin such as the groin, armpits, ears, neck and at the folds of the legs. These are the areas to watch out for when you come back from a walk.
As we have already said, ticks are not dangerous, but the diseases that they can transmit are. Among them there are the following pathologies.
- Piroplasmosis is a disease caused by Babesia canis, a tiny parasite found in the tick’s blood. This microscopic parasite destroys its red blood cells in canids which leads to jaundice and then kidney failure. The disease must be detected and treated quickly because it is fatal.
- Ehrlichiosis is a pathology that is rampant in the south of France and whose symptoms are similar to piroplasmosis. However, the disease is more virulent and can lead to rapid death of the animal. To protect yourself from it, you have to rely on antiparasitic treatments such as pipettes.
- Borreliosis is also known as Lyme disease. This disease is dangerous for dogs but above all, it can affect humans. It is possible to vaccinate the dog against this pathology which is characterized by fever and muscle pain.
Prevent the appearance of ticks
As with all parasites, it is possible to prevent the appearance of ticks. To achieve this, it is necessary to apply an antiparasitic. This can take the form of a pipette, the contents of which will be placed in the neck of the animal, of a collar or of a spray to be applied at regular intervals.
It is also possible to garden! Indeed, thanks to simple gestures, you eliminate the risks in the garden. What to do ?
- To mow the lawn
- Remove the bad ones
- Remove dead leaves
- Plant fragrant flowers and aromatic herbs
- Adopt a few hens
- Water only when necessary
8 ways to treat ticks in dogs
Because ticks are a danger to the health and well-being of dogs, they must be treated. Here are 8 solutions to overcome these parasites.
1 – shampoo treating ticks
Shampoos are very effective treatments for fleas and can also be useful for treating ticks. The principle is simple, you just have to wash your dog with the treating shampoo bought in a pharmacy, pet store or even a veterinary clinic. Attention, most often, a single application is not enough. It should also be noted that the repellent effect of shampoos is very limited.
2 – anti-tick spray
Sprays and aerosols that have an action against ticks are a particularly effective solution since these products act in just a few hours and prevent the appearance of ticks for a month. The application of these products can be a constraint because depending on the size of the animal, the sprays can be numerous. The product must be applied to the animal’s skin and not to the hair, avoiding the head, the area where ticks like to lodge.
3 – Anti-tick collars
The tick collar is a reliable and durable alternative to protect and treat parasites. Of course, the protection is uneven. The areas of the paws and back of the dog are less well treated. It is not very aesthetic but it represents an interesting solution in spring and autumn.
4 – anti-tick pipettes
Since they first hit the market, pipettes have been loved. Easy to use and very effective, they distribute a preventive and / or treatment product throughout the dog’s body. The pipettes make it possible to overcome external parasites such as fleas and ticks, but also internal parasites such as worms.
5 – The hooks
If you notice that your dog has ticks, you can use a specific hook to remove small parasites. The use of these small tools, available in pharmacies and supermarkets, allows you to remove all of the tick. If you use forceps, the head may stay under the skin.
After a walk, or if your dog is scratching, check the areas most prone to ticks. As a reminder, these are the groin, armpits, ears, neck and the folds of the legs. A brush stroke is sometimes enough to detect these mites.
6 – vinegar
The vinegar is a natural solution to fight against the parasites of the dog and more particularly the ticks. Just mix 250ml of vinegar with the same volume of water and apply the lotion using a glove or spray on your dog. The smell is not very pleasant but the efficiency is formidable.
7 – Citrus fruits
Because ticks cannot stand the smell of citrus fruits, these fruits can be used as a treatment. Squeeze a lemon, orange or grapefruit, mix the juice with water and apply to the tick infested areas. These will drop quickly. Repeat the application if necessary. Rest assured, citrus fruits are safe for canines.
8 – essential oils
In the garden, ticks hate fragrant plants. It is for this reason that you can rely on essential oils to get rid of these parasites. Mix 6 drops of lavender, chamomile or mint essential oil with sweet almond oil. Then apply the mixture to the parts of the body where the ticks have attached themselves. Once again the parasites will let go.
When to go see the vet?
If you have identified ticks and find that your dog is not feeling well, you should see a veterinarian quickly. Your dog may be suffering from an illness. The signs to watch out for are:
- the decline in activity,
- difficulties in moving,
- loss of appetite,
- digestive disorders.
In addition to treating ticks, the vet will do a blood test. If a disease is identified, he will suggest appropriate treatment.