Are ticks dangerous for cats? - tells the portal WikiPet
Are ticks dangerous for cats? There is a misconception that ticks pose a threat to dogs and humans, but not to cats. It is a myth! Cats get sick less often, but their diseases are more difficult to diagnose and treat worse. Even a pet at home needs constant monitoring and prevention..
Ticks can boast a variety of species: scabies, ear, dust, etc. However, we will focus on one species, the most dangerous - ixodid ticks, carriers of dangerous diseases. However, even these ticks - about 1000 species.
Where and when can a tick bite a cat?
Ixodid ticks are active from early spring (March) to late autumn (November). Shrubs are their favorite place of residence (they do not climb above 1 meter and, contrary to a common misconception, do not jump on top of us) and grass. As a rule, they live in forests and parks, but you can get to know them on the lawn in the city center.
Usually ticks lead a passive life: they sit and wait for the victim. But, it happens, they set off in search of themselves.
Especially hungry (and therefore characterized by increased viciousness) ticks in autumn and spring.
At risk, in the first place, are animals walking on the street. However, even if your pussy has never left the apartment, you should not relax - you can arrange the delivery of the parasite to your home - for example, on clothes.
What does a tick look like?
The tick resembles a spider in some way: an oval body, a small head and eight limbs. Females are larger than males.
Ticks are armed with a proboscis with sharp teeth - they pierce the skin and suck out blood.At the time of the bite, saliva is injected into the wound, which has an analgesic effect and is "concreted" around the proboscis. So the tick is firmly fixed on the victim and can be there quite a long time - up to a month. Moreover, the longer he sits, the more difficult it is to pull it out.
When a tick is pumped with blood, it becomes like a ball. And if a hungry tick is usually brown, black or dark brown, then a well-fed tick acquires a gray, pink or red hue.
When the tick is saturated, it falls off.
What are dangerous tick bites for a cat?
Ixodes tick carries dangerous diseases (encephalitis, tularemia, typhus, hemorrhagic fever, pyroplasmosis), and can also be a distributor of helminthic invasion.
There is a misconception that ticks are dangerous for a dog and a person, but not for a cat. This is a dangerous myth! Yes, cats get sick less often than dogs. But their diseases, at the same time, are more difficult to diagnose, which means they are treated worse. Due to a tick bite, a cat can get pyroplasmosis, hemobartonellosis (infectious anemia), teileriosis, borreliosis (Lyme disease), etc.
How to detect a tick on a cat?
When the tick falls on the victim, it first crawls to select a convenient place. As a rule, the tick is attached to the armpits, stomach, ears, hind legs, and in cats - to the inguinal region.
A tick can be seen with the naked eye. Since the bites themselves do not cause discomfort (due to pain-relieving enzymes), regularly inspect the cat. Put your hand under the coat, carefully probe.Spread the hair, comb it with a comb, you can blow it against the hair with a hairdryer. If the tick has just sucked, it will resemble a seed, if it has already eaten - a pea.
How to remove a tick?
- Wear latex gloves. Wash hands thoroughly after contact with a tick.
- It is not worth dripping with oil or another liquid - this will only accelerate the spread of infection in the body.
- Do not waste your tick in vain. If he gets scared, he will bite harder into the skin and release more infection.
- It is advisable to remove the entire tick. If you damage it, it will add pathogenic fluid to the wound.
- Firmly grab the parasite’s head with tweezers (as close to the skin as possible) and gently but surely pull it out. You can use a special device (a curved stick with a notch) and unscrew it (smoothly) clockwise. Some use a loop of thread, but this can damage the tick.
- If part of the head remains in the skin, do not worry. As a rule, the cat's body itself eats up a foreign body (although sometimes this is accompanied by a small abscess).
- Treat the wound with an antiseptic (you can use hydrogen peroxide), but zelenka or iodine will not work.
If you are afraid that you can’t do it on your own, you should contact your veterinarian.
Removed tick from cat: danger behind?
After removing the tick, watch the cat.
The incubation (latent) period of the infectious diseases that he suffers can be up to 3 weeks.
Keep your purses feeling: temperature, appetite, activity.
Dangerous symptoms after a tick bite:
- temperature increase
- apathy, lethargy
- refusal of food
- emaciation, dehydration
- diarrhea vomiting
- anemia (pale mucous membranes)
- shortness of breath coughing
- pinkish urine
If you are alert, contact your veterinarian.
Is it possible to protect a cat from ticks?
Prevention of tick bites is much more effective than the treatment of diseases caused by them. Currently, many tick protection products have been developed. These are collars, sprays, drops at the withers.
Be sure to see that the ixodid tick is indicated in the indications for the use of the drug you have chosen. Keep in mind that each remedy has a period of action.
Do not forget that any drug is toxic, so pay attention to contraindications. Risk group: pregnant or lactating cats, kittens, animals that have had a disease or are in a recovery phase
If the drug has caused poisoning or allergies, contact your veterinarian immediately.
PRemember that dog products are not suitable for treating cats!
If you choose a collar, rinse it slightly after opening the package, put it on the cat (it is important that 2 fingers pass between the collar and neck), fasten the end of the tape, cut off the excess.
If a cat lays a collar, it can be poisoned. There is also a danger of catching on a fence, a nail, a branch. The collar is not removed all the time while it is operating.
Sprays are applied to the whole body of the cat (as indicated in the instructions). But until the drug dries, do not let the cat lick itself!
Drops at the withers pour from a pipette into one point.The active substance will accumulate in the sebaceous glands and the epidermis.
Remember that no remedy guarantees 100% protection! A tick can still bite a cat, but the risk of infection is significantly reduced. But even the use of the most reliable drugs will not free you from the need to regularly examine your pets and monitor their well-being.