Do I need to treat my house if my dog has fleas
Almost every dog owner can tell you a thing or two about it: no sooner do the temperatures rise than the parasites lurk on our four-legged friends.
Of course, they can't be stopped from sniffing through botany. In our article you can find out how you can still get through the warm season without worries.
Ticks are a superfamily within mites and belong to the group of arachnids. Almost all types of ticks, like mites and fleas, are ectoparasites (that is, they do not invade the inside of the host).
The ticks mainly use humans, dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, rodents and bats as hosts . There are now over 17 types of ticks found in Austria.
Ticks can mainly be found on the edges of forests, in clearings and meadows, on the edge of the path or on the banks of the river. However, they are not limited to rural regions, but can also be found in urban areas.
But is it even a tick bite? Or is it a "tick bite"? From a zoological point of view, one speaks of a prick, since mouthparts are moved towards each other when a bite occurs, but a straight insertion occurs when a bite occurs.
If it only stayed with this minor entry injury, things would be half as bad. Because even if several ticks infest a dog, this in itself is not dangerous, except in the case of really massive infestation, where blood loss can be problematic.
Unfortunately, ticks can also transmit dangerous diseases. Which, let's take a closer look at that now.
What diseases can ticks transmit to dogs?
Lyme disease is one of the most widespread vector diseases and arguably the best known tick-borne disease.
According to experts, every third tick is a carrier of Lyme disease and the incubation period is 2 to 90 days. Depending on the region, however, only 5 to 20 percent of all dogs have antibodies against Borrelia in their blood.
It therefore makes sense to have your four-legged friend vaccinated against Lyme disease, as this disease can have a very painful course.
Unfortunately, there is still no way for humans to get vaccinated against Lyme disease, only for dogs and horses.
However, before vaccination it must be ensured that the dog has not yet come into contact with Borrelia, as otherwise life-threatening kidney infections can occur.
A tick infected with Lyme disease carries the pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted 24 hours after the bite. If the tick is removed beforehand, there is no risk of infection.
Since the symptoms of Lyme disease are not very specific, it is often difficult to recognize. Symptoms include general lethargy, alternating lameness, attacks of fever, kidney disease, swelling of the lymph nodes, inflammation of the eyes, and occasionally heart problems and neurological symptoms.
Ehrlichiosis got its name from the bacterium Ehrlichia canis and is also known as tick fever. It is actually typical in tropical and subtropical regions, but cases have also been identified in river basins.
Often there are double infections with babesiosis. The incubation period is 8 to 20 days. A distinction is made between monocytic and lymphocytic Ehrlichiosis and granulocytic Ehrlichiosis (anaplasmosis), the latter having a somewhat less severe course.
The symptoms are very different: recurrent fever, nosebleeds, mucous-purulent nasal discharge, vomiting, bleeding and edema in the subcutis, anemia, enlarged spleen, joint diseases, exhaustion, emaciation, diseases of the lymph nodes and meningoencephalitis.
This disease is also called dog malaria or piroplasmosis. This destroys the red blood cells, which can lead to anemia and, if left untreated, death within a short period of time. The incubation period is 9 days to 3 weeks.
A distinction is made between an acute course (fever, fatigue, weakness, pale to yellowish mucous membranes, red to green-brown urine and kidney failure) and a chronic course (changing fever and loss of physical condition).
In contrast to Lyme disease, there is a vaccination for TBE for humans, but not for dogs. The incubation period is between a week and a month.
The tick-borne encephalitis is transmitted when a tick has previously bitten an infected with arboviruses small mammals. The pathogen is transmitted through the tick's saliva, so removing the tick quickly does not help prevent transmission.
However, illnesses are quite rare in healthy dogs, only when the immune system has already been attacked is the probability higher.
Symptoms are high fever, abnormal behavior, seizures, tenderness and pain in the neck and head, gait disorders, strabismus and constricted pupils.
Vulnerable parts of the body in dogs
In dogs, ticks usually bite at the point where they hit the body. With people, they tend to look for a more hidden place.
This means that ticks can often be found on the head, chest, neck, and shoulders of dogs. These areas should therefore be checked briefly after every walk in order to avoid the transmission of the infectious diseases described above.
What helps against ticks?
Ideally, tick infestation is already being prevented. There are several means for this purpose:
- A popular tick prophylaxis are so-called spot-on preparations, which are dripped onto the dog's neck and the active ingredient is then distributed over the whole body. The result is a tick protection lasting several weeks, which makes the dog unattractive to ticks. These are available, for example, as anti-tick pipettes from Advantix or as animal care oil from Ballistol.
- An alternative to these preparations are tick collars, which contain the same active ingredient and gradually release it. The protection lasts for several months if worn constantly.
- In comparison, sprays that are applied to the fur only last 2-8 hours, but applied shortly before a walk they also help with tick repellent.
- There are also prescription tablets available that the vet will be happy to advise on. You can mix these with your four-legged friend as a preventive measure.