What are Ticks?
Ticks are blood-sucking skin parasites that latch and feed on the blood of their hosts, and as a result transmit diseases. These parasites belong to the arthropod family (mites, mosquitoes, spiders and scorpions) and inhabit areas where there are low bushes, shrubs, grass, or forests.
They are quite easy to recognize and flat and round in shape. They attach themselves at the head to an animal’s skin to feed. Ticks have a life cycle of approximately three months and experience 4 stages – from egg to larva, from larva to nymph and nymph to adult.
How Do Ticks Transmit Disease?
Tick-borne diseases are transmitted when the tick has fed on a host such as a rat that has been previously been infected, and then feeds on a dog or cat. Although a tick bite does not cause pain, the affected area may become irritated and lead to skin inflammation or bacterial infection if your pet scratches. If left untreated, tick-borne illnesses can cause serious health complications such as paralysis and can sometimes even be fatal.
Help for Ticks
If you suspect that your dog or cat has been bitten by a tick, consult your vet. A thorough examination of your pet and attached tick will be performed. A complete blood count will be taken and various tests may be performed to confirm the exact diagnosis of tick-borne diseases. Preventative measures are very important to protect your pet against ticks.
Your vet may recommend vaccinations for your pet to immunize him against Lyme disease. There are several products to remove and control ticks and these including using sprays, topical spot-on products, dips and chemical collars. Speak to your vet about the most effective product to use as some of these products are quite harsh for your pet’s skin and cause some serious side effects.
Alternatively, you can remove the tick yourself by using a pair of tweezers to pull it out. Remember to always wear gloves, place the tweezers level with the skin, squeeze, grip firmly and pull the tick straight up. However, if you are unsure about doing this, speak to your vet. Never burn, cut or uses petroleum jelly to remove the tick.
Natural and holistic remedies have been used for centuries strengthen your pet’s immune system, eliminate toxins and maintain overall health and wellbeing. These remedies have proven to be safe and gentle on the body without the harsh side effects of strong and toxic chemicals.
A highly effective herb such as Carduus marianus (Milk Thistle) supports liver functioning and the removal of toxins. Homeopathic ingredients such as Crotalus hor., China, Ferrum phos and Aconite support the immune system, liver and red blood cells.
More Information on Ticks
Tips to Prevent Ticks
There are several things that you can do to prevent and control Ticks and these include:
- Feed your pet high quality commercial food or an all natural diet that contains the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients
- Provide fresh, clean water for your pet to avoid dehydration and flush out toxins
- Use tweezers or a tick-removing device to remove the tick and grab it as close to the head. Apply firm but gentle pressure and pull the tick out of the skin
- Check your pet frequently for ticks, especially if they have been in a tick-infested area
- Always wear gloves when removing a tick as they transmit diseases
- Keep your pets away from environments or areas with tall grass or low brushes that may inhabit ticks
- Disinfect your pet’s food and water bowls as well as sleeping environment regularly
- Remove ticks by spraying, bathing, dipping, powdering with a tick-repellant
- Detox your pet regularly to get rid of unwanted toxins
- Use topical spot-on products and certain tick collars such as Frontline, Preventic and Preventic Plus as recommended by your vet
- Never use the same tick products for your dog as you would for your cat