Who are they?
• What is a
Ticks are bloodsucking parasites that can transmit diseases to your pet.
Ticks are an increasing problem in Europe and can cause
serious health issues.
After mosquitoes, they are second in transmitting
infectious disease to humans and animals.
• Cause irritation
• Lead to an abscess
• Transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, which also affects humans
How does your animal catch ticks?
Wherever you live in Europe, your pet could pick up
ticks. These parasites live not only in rural areas but in urban parks and
They find a host, such as your cat or dog, by
‘questing' – waving their forelimbs in the air – at the tip of vegetation.
As an animal approaches, ticks transfer to them and
attach themselves by biting through the animal’s skin and cementing themselves
Females can lay up to 4000 eggs at the same time
(depending on the species), in dense vegetation areas. Eggs hatch after 2 weeks.
exit of the egg, larvas have to take their first blood meal. They settle on a
host (human or animal).
first meal, larvas are transformed into nymphs and look for a new host to take a
second meal. Nymphs are difficult to detect.
After their second meal, nymphs fall again into the
environment and become adult ticks. An adult female can multiply by 100 its
initial weight when it feeds. Once filled, it falls on the ground, lays its
eggs... And the cycle begins again.
Ticks can transmit diseases to animals on which they feed. Indeed, they settle in a zone of fine skin thanks to their rostrum and begin to feed on blood. After 24 to 48 hours their blood meal fasten and they can transmit a huge quantity of agents responsible for diseases.
So it is important to kill ticks at last 48 hours after their fixation on the animal.
Remember to check your animal (ears, neck), when coming back from outdoor strolls, looking for ticks presence and remove them.
- If some
abnormal signs appear (fatigue, fever, loss of appetite), consult your
veterinarian as soon as possible.
Main diseases transmitted by ticks:
Piroplasmosis or babesiosis
This disease affects dogs. It causes infected red blood cells to burst and in
severe cases can lead to collapse and organ complications, which can be fatal.
Disease of Lyme or Borreliosis
Lyme disease can affect both people and dogs, with the
flu-like symptoms including fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, joint swellings
and stiffness when moving. The intensity of these symptoms can fluctuate for
months, and if left undiagnosed can lead to permanent disability.
It affects the white blood cells with symptoms
including anaemia, depression, loss of appetite and excessive bleeding.
The feline Hemobartonellosis
It affects only the cat. It is due to a blood parasite transmitted by ticks (or fleas) bites. Bacteria are responsible
for fever and anemia. Without treatment the disease is mortal.
Some of these diseases are treated with antibiotics, but it does not always allow to eradicate completely all bacteria. Vaccines exist for dogs, against piroplasmose and Lyme disease.
How to fight against ticks?
can transmit serious or mortal illnesses to your animal. The risk of disease transmission is maximum 48 hours after the fixation of the tick on the animal.
To limit this risk, nothing replaces your vigilance and
an effective prevention with an adapted external parasiticide. Ticks can be
present all year long: do not wait for the beautiful days to treat your animal.
Use an acaricidal parasiticide
Use regularly an effective parasiticide against ticks on your animal. To limit the risk of diseases transmission, a good
acaricide eliminates a maximum of ticks in 48 hours after arrival of parasites on the animal.
The efficiency has to remain constant even if the
animal is bathed.
All FRONTLINE® range medicines are indicated against ticks.
Even if you use an effective parasiticide, it is possible to see ticks on treated animals. As a consequence, the ticks are killed when they are on the animal, within 48 hours maximum (this limits the risk of diseases transmission). Thus, it is possible to observe ticks, fixed or not, on treated animals. It does not mean the parasiticide is ineffective.
Avoid zones with ticks and inspect your animal when coming back from every walk: a zero risk level does not exist.
Search for possible ticks when you brush your animal or
when you play with him. Pay particular attention on high-risk areas: head, ears and neck.
You can feel the ticks with your fingertips before seeing them. To remove them, use only an adapted instrument (for example hooks conceived specially for it). Do not use your fingers, you would risk to leave the "head" of the tick under the skin of your animal. It is also not recommended to use ether or alcohol to remove ticks, as it can help them re-release their pathogenic agents. In case of doubt, contact your veterinarian.
There are vaccines against certain diseases transmitted by ticks. Estimate with your veterinarian the interest to
inoculate your dog:
- Against piroplasmosis, starting from 5 months old, to decrease the risk of disease and limit the gravity of symptoms,
Against Lyme disease, starting from 3 months old,
Your veterinarian will
recommend you the vaccination program adapted to your animal.