Almost every owner of the animal is faced with the problem of parasitic ticks. Even complete isolation from the street does not save the cat from parasites, because ticks can move around, clinging to clothes or shoes. The most popular "guests" are ixodid ticks in cats, dogs, humans, and other mammals. The bloodsuckers not only cause pain and discomfort to the animal, but also can tolerate a number of dangerous diseases - pyroplasmosis, encephalitis, theileriosis, tularemia, tick-borne paralysis and others.
Types of ticks, differences and vital activity of ticks
Ticks belong to the order of insects and comprise more than 850 species. Insects lead a parasitic lifestyle, eat only blood, are especially active in spring and autumn. The detachment is divided into 2 families:
- Ixodes (Ixodes) - the most common type of tick, distributed in all climatic zones of Eurasia and even Siberia (taiga tick). Has a hard shell. Popularly called an encephalitis tick.
- Argasovye (Argasidae) - the parasite does not have a hard shell. Due to its vulnerability, the detachment is small, the ear mite is most often found.
During the life cycle, the parasite replaces three carriers and goes through four stages of development:
- Egg - does not parasitize, the female lays from 300 to 3000 eggs in the ground or on the skin of the carrier.
- Larva - parasitizes on birds or rodents, until the next stage of growth is reached, after which it releases the carrier and falls to the ground.
- Nymph - has the correct structure of the tick, a hard shell, but only 3 pairs of paws. Parasitizes on large rodents, domestic animals, and humans. Saturated, it again falls to the ground and molts - the process of transformation into an adult.
- Adult - has 4 pairs of limbs, parasitizes on large animals and humans, a more detailed structure in the photo. After saturation, it releases the host and for the fourth time it appears on the ground. With the onset of cold weather, females burrow into foliage, winter and lay eggs in spring, completing the life cycle. Males die.
Important! Even one tick causes damage to the cat's body, if the animal has been on the street for a long time and has been hit by several ticks, rehabilitation therapy will require supportive therapy or treatment.
Prevention and treatment of tick bites in cats
Drops from ixodid ticks for cats - the key to the conditional safety of the animal. If you treated the cat, this does not guarantee the absence of parasites, but only reduces the likelihood of such. Drops are absorbed through the skin of the withers into the blood and are eliminated from the body after 3-4 months.
Ticks have a sensory apparatus, which after a bite tells the insect that an unsuitable "host" has been caught, after which the parasite leaves the carrier and looks for a new "victim". Nevertheless, the bite occurred and the tick lives for some time on the animal. Special collars are more reliable in terms of protection, they scare away the blood-sucking insects by the smell, but they are a more expensive means and are often faked.
A tick bite, which is not a carrier, is not accompanied by special symptoms, except perhaps by animal anxiety. A sucking parasite causes itching and pain over time, so the cat tries to comb or remove the “uninvited guest” with its teeth. It is important to avoid infection of the wound and stuck paws or head of the tick in the skin of the animal - the body will reject a foreign protein, which will be accompanied by a purulent abscess or micro-necrosis. The best option is to find and remove the tick yourself.
There is a proven technique for removing a tick at home, but you should not resort to self-removal if the parasite "sticks" to the mucous membrane of the eye, nose or is deep in the ear.
- We cut the hair if it closes the view. An alternative is to wet the coat with oil and smooth.
- Disinfect the skin area and carefully coat the tick with a tool that creates an airtight film, wait 10-15 minutes. Vaseline, fat cream, nail polish, oil and more are suitable. Ticks breathe in the body, and oxygen starvation causes the bloodsucker to loosen its grip.
- Carefully, using a magnifying glass and tweezers, remove the head from the skin, then moving to the back of the body in pairs to get the paws.
- After processing the tick again and waiting 5-7 minutes, make a loop from the thread and separate the parasite from the skin. Handle the wound.