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  • Ticks in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 6/33 - Tips for dog's health

Ticks in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 6/33 - Tips for dog's health

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Ticks in dogs

If outside is getting warmer, the tick season begins. Every dog owner will have to deal with these parasites. It is important to know that ticks can also transmit dangerous diseases. Find out, which ticks are dangerous for the dog, what diseases they transmit, how to prevent against them and how to remove them properly.


Zecken beim Hund - Tony der Mops


Which Ticks are dangerous for the dog?

Ticks are little parasites, that only feed on the blood of their host. They live on blades of grass, shrubs, or animals. Mostly they get to the dog by dropping of shrubs or by climbing on their host. Subsequently, they migrate through the dog's coat until they reach a skin site where they can easily bite (usually it is the neck area).


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There are approximately 850 species of ticks. But only a few are dangerous for the dog. In Europe these include among others the castor bean tick (Ixodes ricinus), the ornate cow tick (Dermacentor reticulatus) and the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) which occurs in warmer areas and is continuously spreading. In North America the most common dangerous ticks are the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), the lone star tick (Amblyonna americanum), the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) and also the brown dog tick.

    Auwaldzecke     Holzblock     Braune Hundezecke
             Ornate Cow Tick                          Castor Bean Tick                          Brown Dog Tick
(Source: Wikipedia)

Der Holzblock überträgt gefährliche Krankheiten auf Hunde und Menschen, wie die Lyme Borreliose oder die Frühsommer-Meningo-Enzephalitis (FSME). Die Auwaldzecke überträgt die Babesiose (Hundemalaria). Die erwachsene Auwaldzecke ist am Rücken leicht marmoriert (siehe Foto)  und kann somit gut erkannt werden.

In which season ticks can be found?

Mainly ticks can be found in the spring, summer and autumn. Ticks like it warm and moist. In tropical and subtropical areas they can be found all year round. But ticks can also be present in the winter. The castor bean tick needs temperatures of about 5 ° C in order to be active.

What diseases can be transmitted from the tick to the dog?

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is an infectious disease that can be transmitted by infected ticks on dogs and humans. Has a tick bitten, the pathogens (Borrelia) are activated and transferred about 24 hours after the bite. If the tick is removed first, there is no risk of infection in most cases. The incubation period in dogs lasts two to five months. Symptoms that may indicate a disease are:

  • Fever
  • General lethargy
  • Changing lameness
  • Inflammation of the eyes
  • Swollen glands
  • Kidney disease
  • Neurological symptoms

While there is a vaccine against Lyme disease, but this is not necessarily recommended, because it does not provide absolute protection because it does not protect against all pathogen strains. Should the dog have already been in contact with Borrelia, life-threatening kidney infections by vaccination may arise. Furthermore, the vaccine does not protect against further transmitted pathogens by the tick such as TBE or babesiosis.


Babesiosis is an infectious disease that causes the destruction of red blood cells and thus a anemia (anemia) causes. Usually this disease occurs in tropical and subtropical regions. But however this also occurs in higher latitudes. This has to do with the extent of the spread of the ornate cow tick (in Europe) and the brown dog tick. The incubation period lasts for about 5 days to three weeks. An acute form of babesiosis, which left untreated, ends within a few days with the death of the animal.




Typical symptoms of acute course are:

  • Fever (up to 42 °C)
  • Bloody urine
  • Pale to yellowish mucous membranes
  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Renal failure


Known as tick fever Ehrlichosis is an infectious disease that is transmitted by several species of ticks, as the brown dog tick. This disease is found in tropical and subtropical regions, including the Mediterranean countries. The symptoms are not so clear. These include fever, vomiting, emaciation or weakness. Ehrlichosis can be treated with antibiotics.


TBE (tick-born encephalitis) is a rare disease in dogs. This form of meningitis is transmitted from the castor bean tick by viruses. Unlike Lyme disease, TBE is transmitted directly with the bite. For dogs, there is currently no vaccine or specific drug against the disease. The symptoms are very versatile. These include headaches, seizures, paralysis, nerve deficits in the brain, fever or behavior changes. Often the dogs die from this disease or neurological disorders are remaining. But it can also happen that dogs recover completely again.




How can I help protect my dog against ticks?

To protect your dog from ticks, there are really many products available commercially. These include spot-on preparations, sprays, herbal preparation, collars or clips for attaching. Which remedy is best for your dog, you need to try and find out for yourself. Every dog owner swears by a particular product. In this context it is also very important that, despite prophylaxis, thorough screening for a tick after a walk should not be neglected. Here can help a flea comb. I have compiled a list of the most common anti-tick preparations:


Such preparations are being trickled off in the neck. The ingredient will spread over the whole skin.


Exspot contains the active ingredient permethrin and acts as a contact poison for not firmly bitten ticks and fleas. Through a nerve irritation to the foot organ of the parasites, they will move away from the skin regions with greater concentration. Consequently, the parasites are rather visible in the fur.

Side effects can include: itching, hair loss and occasional blisters at the application site. Do not apply Exspot in dogs less than three months, or in dogs who are recovering from an illness, and do not use on injured skin or orally.


Frontline is a tick and flea control products containing the active ingredient Fipronil. This causes an uncontrolled reaction of the central nervous system and results in the death of the parasite. According to the manufacturer it has an effect of four weeks against ticks and eight weeks against fleas.

Side effects can include occur: hair loss, itching, skin discoloration at the application site, transient salivation, vomiting. Do not apply Frontline to puppies under two kilograms or on injured skin. Do not use orally.


Advantix contains the active ingredients imidacloprid and permethrin. The effects and side effects are equivalent to those of Exspot.

Do not apply Advantix for dogs under eight weeks or on injured skin. Do not use orally.




Herbal products

Mercola Natural Flea and Tick Defense

This natural product contains natural Brazilian oils, lemongrass, cinnamon, sesame and castor oils and is effective against ticks and fleas. It is available as a spray.




Scalibor Protector Band

This collar contains the active ingredient deltamethrin, which leads to death in parasites. The active substance is released continuously from the collar to the skin and the skin surface and is not absorbed by the skin. The collar protects against ticks and mosquitoes. After about a week the full effect will enter. This is up to six months effective. In the first five days, the dog should not go into the water.

Side effects can include: localized lesions or hair loss, rare neurological symptoms (tremor / lethargy). Do not use Scalibor in dogs under seven weeks.


The Preventic collar contains the active ingredient amitraz, which is toxic for ticks. The effect spreads in constant concentration for a period of four months on the dog's skin. Sense of smell and the dog's fur are not affected by the collar and the concentration of the active ingredient is safe for humans.

Side effects can include: localized alopecia, pruritus, pustular rash and allergies. Do not apply Preventic in dogs less than three months and in dogs that are recovering from an illness.




Natural Remedies

Natural Flea and Tick Spray

This natural spray can be used against mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. Effective for up to seven days.

Flea Away Tablets

This tablets do not contain chemicals or residue and cause a change in the skin environment and an odor (to humans not perceptible), the ticks and other parasites do not like and thus repels them.

Collar Clip

The Collar Clip enables a wearing time of up to four months. After that he should be replaced. It is supposed to help against ticks and fleas. The medaillon will be attached to the collar.



How do I remove a tick properly?

If the tick has bitten in the dog, it must be removed as soon as possible because the pathogens are usually transmitted only hours after the bite. Therefore it is so important to check your dog after walking for ticks. TBE virus will be transferred directly with the tick bite.

To remove the tick, you can use a pair of tweezers, tick tweezers or a tick hook. It is important that the tick is always gripped close. Here, the fur, where the tick has bitten, can be put slightly apart with two fingers. Ideally, the dog should be held by a second person. Do not squeeze during removal, because the tick can get panic and releasing toxins.




Among dog owners the turning of a tick when pulling, is always much discussed. Ticks do not have threads, so it does not matter if you turn these to remove them. The important thing is that you do it slowly and without jerky movements. You do not need to have fears that you turn the tick in the wrong direction, so that it continues to drill into the skin. The turning of the tick only causes a little movement back and forth and can thus be removed more easily. With this procedure you can often get the entire tick with his head without pulling out.

After removing you can disinfect the position with a skin disinfectant. If you have squashed the tick accidentally when removing, so pick up the tick and seek your veterinarian. These can then examine the tick for possible pathogens.

Now you have a good overview of the dangerous ticks for the dog and the transmitted diseases as well as about the various preventive measures.

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In the next part of this article series I will address the issue of "fleas in dogs". Until then, keep it puggy!


Read also:

---> Fleas in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 7/33 - Tips for dog's health

---> Worms in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 5/33 - Tips for dog's health

---> Fever and cough in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 4/33 - Tips for dog's health

---> Diarrhea in dogs - How my dog stays healthy part 3/33 - Tips for dog's health

---> Vaccinations for the dog - How my dog stays healthy - Part 2/33 - Tips for dog's health

---> Overview - How my dog stays healthy - Part 1/33 - Tips for dog's health



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