Do ticks fall off dogs

Remove ticks properly

Common wood trestle. © iStockphoto.com/Rolf Aasa

Ticks

Do you have to turn the tick to the left or to the right? There are numerous myths circulating about how to properly remove ticks. Don't believe them, because some tricks are actually dangerous to your health! What to do if your dog or cat has a tick, and what better not to do, read here.

Discover ticks

Detecting ticks is not easy, especially when the fur is thick. Adult ticks that have already suckled themselves can usually be felt by palpation, as they can be up to one centimeter in size. However, tick larvae and nymphs can hardly be seen with the naked eye, especially not in long and dark fur. Our tips:

  • Look especially on thinly haired parts of the body with thin skin, such as the head (floppy ears flap up!), Armpits and inner thighs. Ticks like to stay here.
  • During the tick season, it is best to search your dog or cat thoroughly for ticks after every walk, but at the latest every evening.
  • You can start by stroking the line with the flat of your hands and looking for any telltale "gnubbel". Then you should part the fur and stroke it against the grain in order to take a closer look at the skin - also on the stomach and legs.
  • Once you have discovered an adult tick and removed it, it makes sense to give it an anti-tick remedy to kill hidden larvae and nymphs.

Once you spot a tick, you should remove it as well. It usually takes several hours or even days for a tick to transmit pathogens. Rapid removal therefore often prevents infection with dangerous pathogens.

 

Remove ticks gently

When removing a tick, you should be careful not to add any stress to it. When stressed, ticks secrete body secretions with which pathogens can be transmitted to your animal. The quickest and most stress-free way to remove it is as follows:

  • It is best to use tick tweezers. This allows you to safely grasp the tick without squeezing it.
  • Use it to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull it out gently and evenly. It can take a few seconds for the tick to come off because it is attached to the skin with a layer of putty. After carefully breaking open this layer, it comes off very easily.
  • Kill the tick by placing it in a glass of high proof alcohol or freezing it. So you can still show them to a veterinarian if necessary. He can determine the type of tick and possibly send the tick to a laboratory to see which pathogens it is carrying.

 

What not to do

Tick ​​bites - (experts call it tick bites) usually heal without problems and are only dangerous for the animal if pathogens are transmitted or if so many parasites suck blood that anemia occurs (which does not actually happen in pets).

It sometimes becomes problematic when parts of the tick get stuck in the animal. Or when the tick secretes saliva when it is removed and thus infects the animal with dangerous pathogens. Therefore, watch out for the tick:

  • Do not remove it with your fingers, as it will be squeezed and pathogens can be pressed into the puncture site.
  • do not remove it suddenly, as parts of the tick could get stuck in the animal.
  • not to be treated with oil, glue, alcohol or the like. The tick then lets go, but first it secretes a lot of potentially contagious secretions into your animal in fear of death.
  • not to turn, neither to the left nor to the right. Because ticks do not have a thread on their prick tool and by turning, parts of the tick can get stuck in the animal.

After removing

If all the ticks you see have been safely removed, you should use a tick repellent to be on the safe side. In this way, you can be sure that even overlooked ticks, larvae and nymphs are killed.

If there is any reddening around the sting point, it is best to go to the vet to be on the safe side. The so-called wandering redness can indicate a Borrelia infection, which should be treated immediately with an antibiotic. However, borreliosis can also occur without a wandering redness being seen beforehand, this only occurs in about half of all infections.

If your animal shows signs of illness such as fever, loss of appetite or fatigue after a tick bite, you should definitely consult a veterinarian. It could be a tick-borne disease such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, or babesiosis.