These simple ways to prevent and control ticks on pets, they are dangerous

Ticks are a group of ectoparasites (they are called “ecto” because they are located outside the animal), who feed on blood.

They can feed on many animal species, withstand different climates, adverse conditions and adapt to different environmental situations.

Depending on the climate, the full cycle can take an average of two months, so in hot climates (more favorable to these parasites), they can reproduce faster and even affect several generations of the same animal.

The four stages of ticks can be differentiated by their size, which is why the very small ” nymphs can go unnoticed. The distribution geographical is practically national, with the exception of a few high altitude areas.

Diseases transmitted by ticks to pets

Infectious agents transmitted by ticks include:

  • Ehrlichia canis (Ehrlichiosis)
  • Babesia canis (Babesiosis)
  • Rickettsia ricketsii
  • Rickettsia conorii
  • Hepatozoon canis
  • Haemobartonella canis

The above diseases are preventable, that is, they can be avoided. It is therefore advisable to protect pets against ticks rather than treating these diseases when they appear, as many of them can be fatal if not detected in time.

It is important to mention that some of these diseases have zoonotic potential, that is, they can be transmitted to humans, since ticks can feed on humans.

ticks

Contact with tick-carrying pets facilitates the transmission of these agents to humans. Even in humans, asymptomatic infections have been detected, that is, the person does not realize they are infected, as in some human case reports of Ehrlichia sp., according to the species of parasite affecting the dog.

Ehrlichia sp are rickettsiae, gram-negative bacteria that live inside cells and have an affinity for blood cells, such as leukocytes and platelets. Human ehrlichiosis, which is caused by strains of Ehrlichia, is an acute febrile illness transmitted by the bite of ticks from sick or carrier animals, such as dogs, cats, cattle, cattle and horses.

How to prevent and fight ticks on pets?

Ectoparasites, fleas and ticks should be preventively controlled throughout the year with the following tips:

Use of collars, sprays or pipettes containing long-acting anti-tick agents, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Avoid using the same brand for an extended period of time as this can generate resistance in ticks. For this reason, the brand (active ingredient) must be changed at least every 3 to 4 months.

A shampoo pest control can be used as a good preventive strategy to keep your dog or cat safe from ticks.

All products are dosed according to the weight of the animal. Practices such as dose splitting (for example, one pipette for a 50 kg dog, divide it and apply half to two 25 kg dogs) only lead to resistance to ticks and increase the risk of disease transmission without having the desired effect, in short, these practices do not adequately protect the animals and ultimately waste the product.

There are a wide variety of products and brands on the market that are administered topically or orally. There is no vaccine against ticks in pets.

Ivermectin is not an adequate prevention and control strategy for companion animals because it does not prevent the transmission of agents such as Ehrlichia sp.

Avoid practices such as repackaging products or pipettes into syringes or other devices. In general, all products come in the form of a single dose.

Symptoms that indicate your pet has ticks

There may be signs and symptoms such as anorexia (the animal stops eating, there is a lack of appetite), depression, fever, petechiae (small spots of blood that may appear on the skin in areas such as the abdomen)anemia and thrombocytopenia (decreased number of platelets)among others.

Diagnosis should be made on the basis of clinical history, history of travel to a hot climate or an area where ticks are present, and should be confirmed by a combination of clinical signs, hematological abnormalities, thrombocytopenia and serological results.

The presence pathogens can be confirmed by various laboratory tests, but it is important to carry out control or preventive examinations if a disease is suspected or if at least one tick has been detected on the animal.

Some dogs show nonspecific signs such as mild nasal bleeding, blood droplets in urine, faeces, skin, occasional fever, lethargy, or decay. Therefore, any dog ​​exhibiting any of the signs or symptoms described above should be taken to a veterinarian for a full evaluation and necessary laboratory tests to confirm or rule out the presence of any of these agents.

Treatments and recommendations

Depending on the diagnosis, the veterinarian will decide what disease your pet is suffering from. This is why it is essential to carry out a check when ticks are found on your animal. Likewise, each of the tick-borne diseases has different treatments and accompanying treatments (to treat anemia, low platelets, hydration, reduce or avoid fever, etc.)

Remember that any time you suspect something wrong with your pet, you should consult a licensed veterinarian with a professional title and registration. Do not put your animal’s health at risk in the hands of third parties, because the professional is the only one who can detect any disease and order the appropriate treatment for your animal.

Ticks breed in the thousands, so if you notice your pet has one, two, or more ticks, it’s possible the pet’s house, floor, carpet, bedding, etc. contain a large number of them; the fight must be done with long-acting products.

Ticks should not be removed manually, because if this procedure is not done correctly, a small wound may remain on your pet’s skin and become infected.

If your pet spends most of the day in a garden or large yard, it will clearly need more attention from you as it will be more prone to ticks, so it is very important to check it at least once per week to ensure it is free of these pests.

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