Dogs are often prone to tick infestations due to their warm blood and constant contact with the ground. Ticks tend to increase quickly, so removing them as soon as you see them is crucial.
How to Remove a Tick Safely
For this task, we will need tweezers, gauze, and iodine.
Identify the angle at which the tick is attached. Then, pull back at the same angle with the tweezers as close as possible to the skin. Do this slowly to avoid getting the head inside your pet's skin.
Once all possible ticks have been removed, you should clean all the wounds left by the ticks. Then, using a gauze soaked in iodine, smear generously on all bites.
All ticks you have removed should be disposed of. Some prefer fire, some prefer to step on them, and some prefer to flush them down the toilet. Whatever your preference, make sure they are gone so they don't come back. Otherwise they will come back to stick.
Why Ticks Are Dangerous
Ticks are always dangerous, but many people don't know why or what diseases they can transmit. Interestingly, these dangers are not exclusive to dogs, as they can also affect humans.
What Are Ticks?
They are external parasites that attach themselves to the skin with their sharp teeth. Once they stick to the skin, they inject saliva and suck blood. Like mosquitoes, their saliva is anticoagulant and is the culprit in disease transmission.
What Diseases Can Be Transmitted by Ticks?
Before listing them, it should be noted that not all ticks transmit diseases and those that do transmit only one condition. This depends mainly on the origin of the tick and its species.
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Colorado tick fever
Both Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Colorado tick fever are unique to the United States. Lyme disease and Tularemia, on the other hand, are typical in North America, Europe and Asia, with the northern hemisphere being their main focus.
These diseases can be fatal to humans and dogs if not detected and diagnosed in time. Therefore, they require medical treatment as urgently as possible.
How to Know if My Dog Is Suffering From a Tick-Borne Disease
To detect tick-borne diseases, after finding one, you must be attentive to any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty moving.
- Pain when moving.
Also a severe tick infestation may cause anemia. If you suddenly find that your dog has too many ticks, consult your veterinarian. He will help you rule out or treat this condition.
How to Avoid Ticks
Products to Prevent Ticks
There are several topical products, that is, products that are applied to the animal's skin or pills that help with the eradication of these parasites. Although they do not prevent the tick from climbing up, once it has bitten the dog, it will dry and fall off by itself in less than 24 hours.
Home Remedies for Ticks
There is a great variety of essential oils and infusions that can be applied to the coat of our dogs. Some of the following mixtures can be used to act as a tick repellent:
- Chamomile tea: boil 1 handful of chamomile in 1 cup of water.
- Citrus tea: in half a liter of water add 2 citrus fruits. Once it boils, leave it for 1 minute and turn off the heat.
- Eucalyptus tea: for each half liter of water add 3 eucalyptus leaves and boil it.
- Rosemary oil: add dried rosemary in olive oil and let it stand in a dark place for at least 1 week.
- Lavender oil: mix dried lavender flowers with almond oil and heat on low heat for 2 to 3 hours.
- Almond oil: process almonds to a paste, let stand and the oil will separate from the solids.
- Lemon oil: separate the lemon peel, only the yellow part, in a container with a lid add olive oil and the peels. Then cook this mixture in its container in a bain-marie for 3 hours and let it stand for 1 day.
- Cinnamon oil: place 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks in a jar of olive oil and put it in a dark place. After 20 days of rest it will be ready.
- Apple cider vinegar: mix equal parts vinegar and water to avoid irritation.
With the help of a spray or damp cloth, apply the selected mixture generously. Remember that if you use essential oils they must be diluted in water first.
The dog's activities should define the frequency of check-ups. For example, after a walk in the park, he can easily catch it. However, a check is recommended whenever our dog has been exposed to tall grass or lying in the grass.
Ticks tend to frequent areas are the neck and under the ears. Since these are the areas that the dog does not reach with its mouth and are also the warmest, they are the most essential points to check.