With spring comes light and warmth, but there are also more uninvited guests in the form of ticks and ticks, which can be bothersome and downright harmful - both for animals and people. Read here how to prevent and avoid the problem.
Ticks and ticks - what's the difference?
Ticks and ticks are often confused and are typically used as synonyms for the same small, blood-sucking insect, as they look similar. However, there is a big difference, as ticks are completely harmless, while ticks can transmit extremely dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease to both animals and humans.
Ticks: Ticks are small insects with six legs. They don't drink blood, but sap from plants and other insects. There are more than 500 different types of ticks in Denmark alone, but what they have in common is that they are not dangerous for either animals or people. They are typically quite small; only a few millimeters long. A single type of tick can be a nuisance to humans; the bed bug (also known as bed bug), as it can cause rashes and itching; but typically it's no worse than that.
Ticks: Ticks come in two types; wood ticks and house ticks, where the wood tick is the most common in Denmark.
The tick feeds on blood; mainly from animals in the wild, but also likes to jump on pets and people, where it can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Central European encephalitis. The difference between ticks and ticks is that the tick bites and grows as it sucks blood.
Ticks are prevented in dogs and cats with drops against ticks, sprays against ticks or pills against ticks. Some of the remedies are available over the counter, while others require consultation with a veterinarian. As with humans, some pets may be more attractive to ticks than others. Start with over-the-counter medicine, but consult the vet if the medicine does not have the desired preventive effect. However, be aware that no remedy is 100% preventive.
See sprays and other means against ticks, fleas and ticks here.
NOTE: Products for dogs must never be used for cats and vice versa. Dog remedies in particular can be fatally toxic to cats.
Ticks live mainly in moist environments such as in forests and near lakes and in tall grass near fields and meadows. It is therefore particularly important to be aware of ticks or tick bites after a good walk in such surroundings.
Look for ticks
A tick bite will typically not be visible on dogs and cats; and not necessarily on humans, if not infected. If the tick bite is red, you should pay attention to whether the red area is growing, as this may be a sign of transmitted disease.
You should always prevent bites by checking everyone in the household and household pets for ticks after a walk.
It can be completely impossible to see ticks crawling in long dog fur, so instead you feel for ticks that have bitten. The ticks typically settle in thin skin behind the ears, in the armpits, navel, etc., but can in principle bite into most places.
Dogs and cats that stay outside on their own should be checked for ticks daily; especially in the warm spring and summer months. This also applies to children who have played outside.
How to remove a tick
It is important that you do not just start pulling at a tick when you discover it, regardless of whether it is on an animal or a person. You only risk getting the body and the tick's head being stuck inside the skin, which can cause infection. That being said, you should always remove a tick as soon as possible, as it
reduces the risk of transmitted disease. Ticks should always be removed within 24 hours.
To make sure to remove the entire tick, you should use atick tweezer / tick remover . It grabs hold of the tick's head and ensures that the whole animal comes out with it.
Old housewives advise to smear the area with vaseline, oil or margarine to be able to pull the tick out more easily, but this is not recommended, as it increases the chance of the tick "throwing up", which in turn increases the risk of transmitted disease.
Symptoms of tick-borne diseases
Even with an intensive effort to prevent and remove ticks, you can never avoid them 100% - especially on dogs and cats. No remedy is 100% preventive, and pets with long fur in particular can easily hide the small animals. Therefore, it is also important to be aware of symptoms that can be caused by tick bites:
- Lack of appetite
- Unsteady gait or lameness
The above symptoms are also symptoms of a wide range of other diseases, but when you consult the vet, it may be worth mentioning tick bites if your dog or cat is in a particularly exposed area.
See all the equipment you need to avoid ticks, fleas and ticks this summer here.