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DOG Ticks 1

dog ticks

Before and after feeding

dog ticks

To make matters easier, there are 3 groups or families of ticks, hard tick, soft tick and a single species called Nuttalliellidae.

The IXODIDAE have a hard shield, over 700 species in this group. Ixodidae nymphs and adults both have a prominent head which projects forwards from the body, unlike the Argasidae with which conversely, the head is concealed beneath the body.

The ARGASIDAE have 193 species are the soft ticks. This group are common in North America and feed quickly and and mainly on birds, they are very rarely found on land animals or humans.

The NUTTALLIELLIDAE consists of a single species, Nuttalliella namaqua. This is a tick found in Africa from Tanzania across to Namibia and south to South Africa. It can be distinguished from ixodid and argasid by a combination of characters including the position of the stigmata, heavily corrugated integument, and form of the fenestrated plates.

These bloodsuckers which are not insects but arachnids, attach themselves to cats, dogs and even ticks Ticks will feed on any and virtually all parts of the body, some feed on the head, shoulders and neck, with others preferring the ears, tail and toes. When they congregate in tightly packed clumps, it is almost impossible to recognise the tick as an individual parasite as they cover visible skin and fur and resemble jelly-beans. When you recognise the tick and slowly realise just how many of these bloodsuckers have infested the poor victim, it can be quite horrifying!


The effects which such bloodsucking ticks have upon their victims can be understood clearly just by seeing the difference in the size of these parasites before and after feasting! If you imaging 10 of more of these ticks upon a small animal, the amount of blood loss can be devastating. We saw a case when over 60 ticks had attached themselves to a golden retriever  which was extremely anaemic and close to death, but received treatment in time to be saved.

Ticks, tiks or tics, yes there are many ways of spelling that short word and just like the pronunciation of a vase, people will argue the correct spelling.. In any case, for arguments sake we will use the most commonly accepted spelling, TICKS. Ticks are small arachnids, ectoparasites (external), which live on the blood of mammals as well as birds, reptiles and even amphibians!

Ticks will burrow under the victims skin with their head, so when removing the tick it is vital to remove them in the best and safest way without tearing the parasite from its embedded head, this can be dangerous and lead to severe complications.

Thdog tick toolere are many tick specific tools especially designed to remove the tick in a way that will remove the entire parasite safely and completely.

Without a special tick tool, you can best remove a tick with a pair of pointed tweezers and holding the tick firmly as close to the skin as possible whilst gently levering up from the skin. This will held avoid breaks, infections and avoidable complications. Removing a tick should not be approached lightly, it is vital to get rid of it but just as vital to actually know what you are doing.

Ticks are extremely common throughout the world. In addition to the blood sucking lives of the ticks which can cause many problems in our pets, there are also the paralysis ticks which can kill the victim within hours of attaching itself, these have become common in Australia.

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Tick paralysis is the only tick-borne disease that is not caused by an infectious organism. The illness is caused by a neurotoxin produced in the tick's salivary gland. After prolonged attachment, the engorged tick transmits the toxin to its host.

The incidence of tick paralysis is unknown.Tick paralysis results from inoculation of a toxin from tick salivary glands during a blood meal. The toxin causes symptoms within 2–7 days, beginning with weakness in both legs that progresses to paralysis. The paralysis ascends to the trunk, arms, and head within hours and may lead to respiratory failure and death. The disease can present as acute ataxia without muscle weakness.

Patients may report minor sensory symptoms, but constitutional signs are usually absent. Deep tendon reflexes are usually hypoactive or absent, and ophthalmoplegia and bulbar palsy can occur.

Electromyography (EMG) studies usually show a variable reduction in the amplitude of compound muscle action potentials, but no abnormalities of repetitive nerve stimulation studies. These appear to result from a failure of acetylcholine release at the motor nerve terminal level. There may be subtle abnormalities of motor nerve conduction velocity and sensory action potentials.Prevention.

No vaccine is currently available for any tick-borne disease, except for Tick-borne encephalitis. Individuals should therefore take precautions when entering tick-infested areas, particularly in the spring and summer months. Preventive measures include avoiding trails that are overgrown with bushy vegetation, wearing light-coloured clothes that allow one to see the ticks more easily, and wearing long pants and closed-toe shoes. Tick repellents containing DEET (N,N, diethyl-m-toluamide) are only marginally effective and can be applied to skin or clothing. Rarely, severe reactions can occur in some people who use DEET-containing products. Young children may be especially vulnerable to these adverse effects. Permethrin, which can only be applied to clothing, is much more effective in preventing tick bites. Permethrin is not a repellent but rather an insecticide; it causes ticks to curl up and fall off the protected clothing.

Tick Paralysis

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In North America, the most common ticks to watch out for are;;

dog tick USABrown dog tick USA

DOG Ticks 2

Tweezers and slide hooks are most common, the main job is to grab the tick firmly whilst lifting away from the victim.


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Dermacentor variabilis, also known as the American dog tick or Wood tick. The American dog tick will attach and bite humans as well as dogs. The adults are brown with white streaks or spots on its back. When full of blood they turn grey and are commonly described as resembling a bean. It is a species of tick that is known to carry bacteria responsible for several diseases in humans, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia (Francisella tularensis). It is one of the most well-known hard ticks. The American Dog Tick is prevalent in the Southern States of the USA and can be mostly found close to water or humid areas. Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be transmitted by the American Dog Tick. Diseases are spread when it sucks blood from the host, but it can take several days for the host to experience some symptoms.

American Dog Tick

Amblyomma americanum, or lone star tick, is a species of tick in the genus Amblyomma. Lone Star ticks will attach and bite humans as well as dogs and cats. The adults are brown or tan and you will find a white spot on its back. Lone Star ticks are most common in wooded areas, particularly in forests with thick underbrush and large trees, and can also be found in areas along river banks and creeks. This tick carries and transmits the disease Ehrlichiosis. It is widespread in the United States ranging from Texas to Iowa in the Midwest and across to the East coast where it can be found as far north as Maine.

Lone Star Tick

Ixodes scapularis, known as the Deer, Bear or Black-legged tick

This tick will attach to humans, cats and dogs. On the west coast of the USA the black-legged tick is a term reserved for Ixodes Pacificus, whilst in other parts of the USA as the bear tick. The adults are reddish brown and is hard bodied. It is a hard-bodied tick of the eastern and northern Midwestern United States. The Deer tick will be a much deeper, darker brown than that of the Brown Dog tick when full, and is known as the deer tick owing to its habit of parasitizing the white-tailed deer. This tick can transmit Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Ehrlichiosis.

Deer Tick - Black-Legged Tick

The Brown Dog tick attaches to dogs but rarely to humans. The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, is a species of tick which is found worldwide, but more commonly in warmer climates. This species is unusual among ticks in that its entire life cycle can be completed indoors. This tick is also known as the “kennel” or “house” tick.  This tick is found in kennels and homes where dogs live mainly indoors. The Brown Dog Tick does not transmit known diseases.

Brown Dog Tick