There are several methods to remove ticks from cat. Some swear by turning; others carefully pull out each tick. But what’s the difference? Which method is better, or is there a ‘wrong one’?
There are actually a few tips and tricks for removing the small bloodsuckers that we want to give you today.
First things first
Even if you use one of the various prophylaxis options, you should remove every stuck tick quickly – whether by twisting or pulling. The aim is to remove the parasite as completely and without residue as possible. For this, your animal should keep still for a short time, which you can practice well with him and, if possible, reward it with a treat as soon as possible.
By absorbing blood, ticks grow in size quickly within a few hours. A soaked tick, which can quickly become the size of a plump pea, is much easier to remove than a freshly bitten small tick.
Even if it would be easier to remove it after a while, you should still take action right away. Some pathogens are sometimes only transmitted after a few hours, but by acting directly, you can significantly reduce this risk again.
More about various tick-borne diseases soon here in other articles.
Types of ticks
By the way, there are different types of ticks on German soil – the most important ones for humans, dogs, and cats are, besides the common wood tick, the rarer brown dog tick, and the alluvial forest tick. Even if they differ in size and color pattern, they all belong to the family of ticks. As a result, they are very similar in physique and can be removed according to the same scheme.
Some animals and humans seem to be attracted to ticks, while others seem to be completely uninteresting for the small arachnids. It is not (yet) possible to say why this is the case today, but science is researching in this direction, what it takes to find out what ticks are like and whatnot.
The choice of tool
When removing ticks, the equipment used only plays a subordinate role. For example, some pet owners use their fingernails to remove – you can do that as well. The basic requirement for this is to feel comfortable and not disgusted by direct contact with the little beasts.
If you prefer a technical aid, that’s just as fine. The market offers many possibilities for this: from simple pliers and mini crowbars made of plastic to credit cards with corner cut-outs to tick rollers. Which part you use is up to you, but: You have to feel safe and comfortable using it.
Turn or pull?
Whether you ultimately belong to team turning or team pulling is completely secondary. The fact that one or the other could be bad or even harmful lacks any scientific basis. It would help if you obliterated the tick. No piece of the tick’s body should remain in the skin – otherwise, it could cause a painful and, on top of that, poorly healing inflammation caused by stuck remains of the mouthparts or other bits.
When pulling, the following applies: do not jerk, but rather carefully and gently.
When turning, the following applies: In contrast to screws, ticks have no thread – so the direction does not matter when turning, and it works to the left or the right.
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Be careful with internet tips on removing ticks.
Unfortunately, a dangerous tip circulates through social networks at regular intervals: the so-called ‘soap’ or ‘oil trick.’
It would help if you treated the bitten stick with drops of oil or soap so that it lets go. What is dangerous about this tactic is the continued stress factor for the ticks. This is because these parasites breathe through holes in their body surface called tracheas. If the recommended fluids close these breathing openings, the shortness of breath causes extreme stress in the parasite. As a result, he can vomit – he empties his salivary glands and bacterial contamination very quickly into the bloodstream of his host. This can lead to serious pathogens, such as anaplasma, being transmitted directly and thus triggering a life-threatening disease.
Therefore, I strongly advise against using liquids to remove ticks!
The urban legend that a new tick body is supposed to grow back from a head that has remained in the host’s skin is, by the way, just nonsense. In this article, I will clarify whether home remedies or pharmaceutical products are more effective against ticks.
Take care of yourself and your darlings.
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