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The summer season is tick season: as soon as the weather starts to warm up again and you begin to enjoy longer walks with your dog, ticks are also out and about and on the hunt for a new host. Learn how to correctly remove these little parasites.
Ticks belong to the arachnid family and some are so small, they are barely visible to the naked eye before a blood meal. They are even more difficult to spot if your dog has thick or dark fur. As a result, ticks are often first noticed on dogs when they have already attached themselves to the dog and have started feeding on its blood.
During this process, they can transmit pathogens to the dog – which can then be passed on to the dog’s owner. This means that you have no time to lose. The more time the tick spends feeding, the greater the risk of transmission.
You should therefore remove ticks in two stages:
1. Grasp the head of the attached tick with a pair of pointed tweezers, a pair of special tick tweezers or a special tick card (these can be obtained from a pharmacy or a specialist store) as close as possible to the skin and slowly pull it upwards in a careful, but continuous tugging motion. Warning: When doing so, care should be taken to avoid any unnecessary squeezing of the body of the tick to prevent its contents, which may be infected with pathogens such as borrelia, from being introduced into the wound.
2. If the head of the tick is left behind in the animal’s skin after removal, the area must be disinfected immediately to reduce the risk of a secondary bacterial infection. Where possible, a vet should then fully remove the head of the tick from the wound to prevent inflammation.
In order to prevent tick bites, all dogs should be checked thoroughly for ticks on a regular basis. This reduces the risk of ticks being transferred from the dog to you and your family and can even prevent the transmission of diseases such as tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis via tick bites. Any ticks that are present and that may have already taken a blood meal must be removed as quickly as possible.
If you wish to completely prevent ticks from taking up residence on your dog, we recommend that you treat the dog with a substance designed to repel and kill ticks. Examples of these are “spot-on” solutions and the SerestoTM tick collar. They offer your dog the best possible protection against the dangers posed by these irritating bloodsuckers during their adventures in the great outdoors.
Summertime Is Tick Season
Please note: Please do not use home remedies, such as essential oils or garlic, to protect dogs from ticks. The effects and tolerability of such methods have often not been adequately tested and, at worst, could even harm your dog’s health. It is better to place your trust in licensed medicinal products available from pharmacies or veterinary practices.
Click here for more information (only in German).