Spring is green grass, good weather, we spend more time outdoors with our pets, giving them freedom and letting them off the leash. The stay of pets in nature is not only pleasant moments, but also hidden dangers. And you have to be ready for anything. Following the long-awaited spring comes small and big problems that dog owners have to face while walking. And now I would like to draw your attention to warnings about small, but sometimes very dangerous insects - ticks. This is especially important for inexperienced dog owners, whose pet meets spring for the first time in his life, to actively get acquainted with the environment of spring and awakened nature.
If this is the first spring for your pet, first of all introduce him to the street and nature. You should not immediately let the dog off the leash and let everything take its course, they say "the animal itself knows what is possible and what is not." At first, go out with him on the grass, play on a leash, control his every step and action. Since at first he will be guided by curiosity and instincts, you need to show what can and cannot be done. This should be approached in the same way as teaching a dog commands, that is, you need to teach a dog to behave in nature. It's like walking with children, you need to look at your pet in both eyes so that you can prevent its mistake in time, so that fun pastime does not turn into a tragedy.
What is a tick
Ticks are bugs from the arachnid class. Of which there are so many divorced that they are considered the largest group in their class. They are microscopic, and can also reach a size of more than 1 cm. Ticks, which will now be discussed, belong to the Ixodes family. These beetles do not live on the body of dogs, other animals and people, but only temporarily parasitize, feeding on blood.
Ixodid ticks are visible to the naked eye, quite large. The size of males is 2-3 mm; females can reach 10 mm or more. Ticks live from 2 to 4 years depending on the region.
Ticks live in shady, damp places. Most often found in the forest, in the park and garden, in fields and meadows. And they can also be found in urban areas overgrown with shrubs. In short, ticks are everywhere.
Some types of ixodid ticks are carriers of diseases. And the most common disease in dogs, the pathogens of which are transmitted by ticks, is piroplasmosis.
There is a good chance that your pet may be attacked by a tick that carries piroplasmosis. Piroplasma (Piroplasma canis) can enter the bloodstream of a dog during a tick bite. For several days (sometimes up to 2 weeks), piroplasm actively multiplies in the pet's blood, affecting the hematopoietic organs and red blood cells. And there comes a moment when your pet's body is no longer able to compensate for the loss, and the waste products of the piroplasm cause intoxication. After a dog has been bitten by a tick with piroplasm, the following symptoms are observed:
- loss of appetite (refusal of breakfast);
- increased body temperature (up to 40 ° C or more);
- urine reddish-brown, or the color of dark beer;
- weakness of the hind limbs;
- possible vomiting, diarrhea.
There are cases of recovery of dogs without the intervention of a veterinarian. After that, immunity is developed, and the pet no longer shows symptoms of the disease. At the same time, it can be a carrier of piroplasmosis and infect other ticks. But, not all dogs can withstand the disease, especially not worth the risk with breeds that are very deviated from the natural form - the wolf. Therefore, do not be surprised that wild animals in the forest, yard dogs and even guard dogs that live year-round in the yard in an aviary or on a chain do not suffer from piroplasmosis, and your Pekingese, Shih Tzu or Yorkie lies under a dropper for the second time in a row.
Loved the article on this very much.About the problems of treating piroplasmosis” from the Great Danes kennel “Classic Dog”. For me, it became the first sign and the basis for more in-depth reflections on this matter.
Tip: always keep an eye on your dog's tail. If during a walk, the tail is not active for a long time, it is worth examining the pet's health in more detail. Most likely your dog is thirsty, give him a drink of water during the walk. But, if she refused water and continues to mope, the problem should be considered deeper. It is possible that your pet is sick with piroplasmosis. You should especially pay attention to this if the dog refused breakfast (even his favorite treat) - then you should definitely take him to the doctor immediately and do a blood test.
Piroplasmosis is not transmitted to humans. But, there are rare cases.
When are ticks dangerous?
- March - May;
- Aug. Sept.
In summer, at the peak of the heat, the activity of ticks decreases, and in winter they sleep. In March, as soon as the sun begins to warm, the air becomes humid and smells like spring, ticks wake up hungry and begin their hunt for animals, also not sparing dogs and people.
In autumn, after a tiring heat, the second season of active tick hunting for warm-blooded animals begins. It is during these periods: March-May, August-September that you should more carefully monitor your pet, take all necessary measures to protect it from tick bites.
How to protect your dog from ticks
To protect the dog from ticks, special drops should be applied to the withers (along the back). For a certain time (on average 1 month), these funds repel ticks. Flea and tick collars are very popular. They can be a good addition to your basic defenses. But not as a primary defense. Collars are designed for an average of 6-7 months of use. There are also sprays that should be applied directly to the animal's coat. Spray your pet with a spray should be on average once a week, as well as the day before a walk in densely vegetated places. All these remedies for ticks (and other insects) are called acaricidal preparations. They should be used regularly as no acaricide will provide complete protection for your pet for more than 4 weeks.
After each walk, and possibly during a long walk, you should inspect the dog in order to detect a tick in time. After getting on the dog's body, the tick looks for a secluded place for 15-20 minutes. Therefore, you may be able to simply shake the bugs off the surface of the dog's coat.
What to do if a dog is bitten by a tick
If a dog is bitten by a tick, it can stay on the animal's body for up to 10 days. Places on the dog's body that are most exposed to tick bites:
- the area behind the ears;
- elbow area.
During a bite, the tick secretes saliva, due to which blood clotting is prevented. Also, the saliva of the tick acts as an anesthetic for the animal, so the dog may not feel pain when bitten by an insect.
If you find a tick on your dog, it should be removed. You can consult a veterinarian, or you can do it yourself:
- generously lubricate the tick and the area around it with vegetable oil (you can use Vaseline);
- pinch the body of the bug with tweezers and pull it up in a slow circular motion;
- after removing the tick, lubricate the damaged skin of the dog with an antiseptic;
- destroy the tick. It's best to burn it.
The tick from the skin of the dog should be removed entirely. There are cases when, due to the awkward removal of the tick, the body comes off, but the head remains in the skin. In this case, you should consult a doctor for help, since it is very difficult to remove the remnants of the beetle on your own.
After removing the tick, monitor the health and mood of the dog. After all, the tick could be a carrier of piroplasm.