Ticks pose a health threat so remove them quickly from your pets

  • Animals
  • Friday, 14 Jun 2019

Tick and flea collars can help prevent cats and dogs from getting bitten. Photo: dpa

Cat or dog owners should keep a keen eye out for ticks on their furry friends – and remove them swiftly.

The reason? Ticks – which embed themselves in the skin and feed on blood – don’t just look unpleasant, they can also pass on illnesses such as Lyme disease.

It takes roughly 12 to 24 hours before the pathogens start to enter blood, so it’s important to remove ticks quickly.

If you spot a tick, do not resort to old-fashioned home remedies like oil or nail varnish, according to the Germany veterinary association BTV.

Why? When under stress, ticks are more likely to release pathogens – not only gross, but dangerous for the health of your animal companion.

Instead, use tweezers or your fingers to pull the tick out.

Try to get as close to the skin as possible, without squishing the insect.

You should also avoid twisting the tick when removing it. Try to simply pull it straight out.

It’s worth carrying out regular checks on cats and dogs, because ticks don’t usually work their way into the skin straight away. It can take them up to two hours to find a spot on the body where they want to feed. – dpa

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