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What to do if your dog or cat is bitten by a tick: what to remember

Alina MilsentLifestyle
How to protect animals from ticks. Source: Created with the help of AI

Spring is the season of long walks, the first warmth, and, of course, ticks. When a tick gets on a cat or dog's skin, it looks for the best place to feed. Then the insect inserts a part of its mouthparts under the skin, secretes saliva, and begins to suck blood.

It is important to regularly examine pets for ticks. Insects carry bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases. What to do if a dog or cat is bitten by a tick and how to remove the pest correctly - read the OBOZ.UA article.

Why ticks are dangerous

Ticks use animals as hosts for reproduction and feeding. The most common infection, Piroplasma canis or piroplasmosis, leads to the destruction of red blood cells, oxygen starvation, anemia, inflammation, damage to internal organs, and death of the animal. The causative agents of pyroplasmosis are transmitted by ticks. Dire consequences can be avoided if rescue measures are taken in the first hours after a tick attack.

The first symptoms

Veterinarians emphasize that immediately after a tick bite, there are practically no signs of a tick. Therefore, after walks, you should carefully examine your pets for pests. Ticks most often attach to animals in the following places: on the head, neck, chest, and groin.

If you notice that your dog or cat has started to scratch or lick the affected areas anxiously after a walk, be sure to do a thorough examination. Ticks don't stick to a dog instantly - insects can spend several hours looking for a "good" place, and it takes about the same amount of time to "attach" and secure the hibiscus. During and after the walk, you should periodically, for example, every two hours, examine the animal to notice and shake off ticks in time.

How to remove a tick

First of all, doctors recommend removing a tick when it is dead, so you should first take steps to neutralize it.

You will need:

  • gloves;
  • surgical clamp or curved medical tweezers
  • antiseptic;
  1. Put on protective gloves. To neutralize the tick, treat the affected area with vegetable oil or alcohol.
  2. Firmly grasp the tick's head with tweezers - this should be done as close to the skin as possible - and gently but surely pull out the parasite. In veterinary pharmacies, you can buy a hook for removing ticks - with it, the pest should be unscrewed (smoothly) clockwise.
  3. If a part of the tick's head remains in the pet's skin, seek veterinary help immediately.
  4. The wound should be treated with an antiseptic (hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine or betadine solution), but brilliant green or iodine will not work.

If you are worried that you will not be able to do it yourself, you should contact your veterinarian.

The neutralized tick should be placed in a container with a lid. It is better to have a laboratory test done immediately to see if the parasite was a carrier of infection.

You should not squeeze, tear, or pull the tick out sharply, as its parts may remain in the skin, which can prolong the healing process or even cause inflammation.

What happens after the tick attaches

On average, the first symptoms of pyroplasmosis infection are noticeable in two days:

  • lack of appetite
  • weakness, fever (the norm in dogs is 37.5-39 degrees; in cats - 38.5-39.5 degrees)
  • vomiting and diarrhea;
  • pallor of the mucous membranes.

Intoxication leads to liver and kidney damage, metabolic disorders, so consult a veterinarian as soon as possible if you have symptoms.

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