All You Want to Know about Ticks on Dogs
Ticks are an external parasite found commonly on cats and dogs. There are around 850 species of these blood-sucking anarchnids. They feed on the host’s blood by digging their face in the skin of the host. It is important to have a good knowledge account about these parasites. These pesky creatures cause a hell of problems for your pet. In addition, they make him sick, irritating and debilitated. In order to abolish them, you need to have a fair idea about them.
According to studies, the ticks are broadly classified in two major types – Ixodidae and Argasidae. This classification is based on their structure. Ixodidae are the form of ticks with hard shell like outer covering on their body. This cover is called scutum and is a protective layer on the tick’s body. Soft-shelled ticks are called Argasidae. Their head is located inside their body. These ticks are lesser in number and they usually attach to the pet’s ears.
How do ticks look?
Well ticks are the size of a fingernail and are generally of the shape of a small almond. It has four pair of legs and appears in a range of colors. Their color may start from pale cream, grey, brown and everything in between. When they are on the pet’s body then you cannot find their legs are pierced into the skin of the pet. Their size varies from small pinhead when immature to a fingernail when they are all grown up. They are crawling creatures and cannot fly.
What is the food of the tick?
Well, unfortunately it is the blood of the host. Yes! Ticks feed on their host animal’s blood. Their body grows up in size due to the blood feeds. They suck the pet’s blood in all stages of their life cycle except the egg stage. Actually, blood meals help them to grow physically.
How do ticks grow?
The life cycle of ticks includes egg stage, larvae stage, nymph stage and adult stage. It takes them around two years to complete their life cycle. During their life they live on three different hosts. The eggs are laid first on the ground. When these eggs find proper moisture and temperature then they hatch into larvae. Larvae hop on host rodent, pet or human. They feed on the host blood for several days and fall back on the ground.
Here they shed their shed their skin, shell and develop into the nymph stage. Nymph again hops on another host and feeds for a time being. Once well fed, nymph detaches from the host and lives on the ground. Right here it molts into an adult form, be it a male or female. The male or female ticks hop on another host, on which they feed and mate. After feeding on the pet’s blood these ticks, fall back on the ground. The male dies here and the female lives until the spring season for laying its eggs.
How do ticks transmit diseases?
This is how ticks complete their life cycle. Dogs and cats are their hosts in the intermediate life stages. During these stages, they suck the host’s blood and cause various diseases like Rocky mountain fever, Lyme disease, tick paralysis etc. They carry disease-causing germs and infect the pet when they bite them for sucking their blood. Thus, it becomes important to eradicate not just the adult ticks but also their life stages.
Common tick-borne diseases in cats and dogs are:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Tick paralysis
Pet parents can consult a vet for complete guidance about all these diseases. It will help them detect the symptoms and assume their pet is suffering from disease. The vet will also help you in finding the correct tick preventive for your pet. Use these tick preventives to eliminate any chances of ticks on your pet’s body. For more details about tick preventives, feel free to log on to our online store that offers branded flea and tick treatments at cost effective rates.