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All About Ticks???

gomez
March 21st, 2007, 08:20 PM
As we are now in a country that is riddled with ticks, I thought I might start a thread to put everyone's expertise on the subject in one place...

There are two main types of ticks in Australia, the regular brown tick and the very nasty paralysis tick, which can kill your pet in less than 24 hours...

This means that Gomez must be doused with Frontline every 2 weeks and have a full body check daily - everyone does it over here, it's normal...

While he was in quarantine he had 2 brown ticks and they removed them by drenching the tick with methylated spirits (alcohol) and then taking it out with tweezers. He was quite patient during this process, but OUCH!

What are your experiences with ticks?

Your preferred methods for removing them?

TeriM
March 22nd, 2007, 12:51 AM
I haven't had to deal with any ticks yet. I was told to keep flea shampoo on hand and put that on the tick before you pull it out so that it kinda stuns the tick. I'm sure if they used alcohol that that is a good choice.

Frontline every two weeks sound kinda scary to me. That is a lot of chemicals :eek: .

glitterless
March 22nd, 2007, 04:21 AM
That's scary, gomez. Do all ticks carry Lyme disease?

I also haven't had to deal with ticks yet. I know that in some parts of North America they are prevalent and you literally have to check yourself over after being in the woods. I don't think I've ever actually seen a tick and I hope I never do!

hazelrunpack
March 22nd, 2007, 07:36 AM
In my experience, alcohol doesn't phase a tick at all. It's great for disinfecting the site after tick removal, though.

Here we have wood (dog, brown) ticks and deer (bear) ticks. The deer ticks here carry Lyme's disease; the wood ticks typically do not. However, there are other tick-borne diseases here as well, notably Ehrlichiosis (from various Ehrlichia species) and Anaplasmosis (from Anaplasma phagocytophilum, recently reclassified/renamed from Ehrlichia equii). Supposedly, a tick must be attached for at least 24 hours to transmit Lyme's disease...the jury is still out on how long it takes for a tick to transmit Ehrlichia or Anaplasma organisms.

We use Frontline Plus every 21 days during tick season, and check the dogs over daily, and still find a few ticks each year that have attached and bloated. In fact, 4 of our 6 dogs tested positive for anaplasmosis exposure this year, despite our best efforts of keeping them tick-free. (Cole is just finishing up 8 weeks of meds for it.)

The best way we've found to remove attached ticks is a handy little device called a tick spoon--they're plastic spoons with a little notch cut into the bowl that fits around the tick at the surface of the dog's skin. They're cheap, readily available through local vets, and work like a charm. The tick spoon allows removal of the tick without squeezing the tick--and it's pretty good at removing the mouth parts intact. We disinfect the attachment site with alcohol afterward.

We occasionally find attached ticks on ourselves, as well. So far, none of the removals have hurt--and it doesn't seem to bother the dogs to have them removed, either (at least, they don't wiggle and complain much).

If the ticks are still crawling around, a flea comb is effective for removing them (make sure you do it outside, though). Much as I hate the smell of Frontline Plus, it does work quite well--we find hundreds of ticks on the dogs each year and 99% of them are dead or dying and haven't attached. (Since our infection rate was so high despite this, I suspect the percentage of infected ticks is extremely high. No figures out on Anaplasma or Ehrlichiosis infection rates in tick populations that I've been able to find, but I've seen figures as high as 80% for Lyme's infection in local deer tick populations.)

If you have a lot of ticks in your yard, there are chemicals you can use to kill the ticks. The chemicals most commonly recommended typically have short half-lives--on the order of a couple of weeks--so if you prefer to keep your pets off the treated area, at least you don't have to wait months for the chemicals to break down... We don't use them here--most of the ticks the dogs pick up are from the woods around us, and the few that would be killed in the yard aren't worth the medical problems that can arise from the pesticide exposure. I do know people who have wilder yards, however, that use some of these types of products to treat their yards twice a year.

When we first moved into Tick Territory, the little blighters grossed me out terribly :yuck:. However, after just 20 years (:p) it's become a matter of course to do the daily tick checks and remove any that are attached. :shrug: Just something you have to put up with...you do what you can and you don't lose sleep over it.

However, I must say, gomez, that the thought of paralysis ticks does blow the wind up my back :yuck: I'm hopin' they're few and far between where you live :fingerscr

jessi76
March 22nd, 2007, 07:56 AM
the primary tick I pull off my dog is the deer tick, our area is just riddled w/ them (which is also why we chose to adopt a very short hair single coated breed dog). I use frontline also, and in spring/summer/fall, we check Tucker daily. We're so used to it by now that we just pull them off w/ our fingernails. I prefer to flush them, my fiance burns or crushes them to kill them. I've also had my dog vaccinated for Lyme disease.

I agree that frontline every 2 wks is alot of chemicals, is it safe to use it so often? I believe the packaging suggests to use it once a month.

mummummum
March 22nd, 2007, 01:06 PM
I am never going to complain about the one or two ticks we pick up every couple of years again. Has anyone in high-tick-territory used fresh garlic in their dawgz diet and/or a lower leg application of citronella and cedarwood ? When we camp, this is my strategy but we obviously don't face the same level of risk you folks do.

jessi76
March 22nd, 2007, 02:15 PM
I'm fairly certain garlic is effective for fleas, not ticks. I've actually used a non-deet (family) bug spray on Tucker to help keep the bugs off, but I haven't found anything as (or more) effective than Frontline Plus.

mummummum
March 22nd, 2007, 02:33 PM
It works for fleas as well, fresh garlic rather than garlic poweder is a natural repellant for many of the nasty critters.

hazelrunpack
March 22nd, 2007, 03:39 PM
It works for fleas as well, fresh garlic rather than garlic poweder is a natural repellant for many of the nasty critters.

I've always heard that fresh garlic isn't good for a dog--same category as onions, as I recall? And I suspect with the number of ticks we'd have to repel here, you couldn't feed a dog enough fresh garlic to do the trick...

I've tried citronella--absolutely worthless for our tick problem...although it's great at repelling flies. I'll sometimes take fresh grapefruit peal and squeeze it over the dogs' fur (you know how that citrussy juice that squirts off it?). That works well for flies, too...but again, not for ticks. :shrug:

mummummum
March 22nd, 2007, 04:01 PM
I've always heard that fresh garlic isn't good for a dog--same category as onions, as I recall? And I suspect with the number of ticks we'd have to repel here, you couldn't feed a dog enough fresh garlic to do the trick...

I've tried citronella--absolutely worthless for our tick problem...although it's great at repelling flies. I'll sometimes take fresh grapefruit peal and squeeze it over the dogs' fur (you know how that citrussy juice that squirts off it?). That works well for flies, too...but again, not for ticks. :shrug:

The only non-no when it comes to garlic is in the amount you use with cats as it can in large amounts cause anemia. Other than that, it has a huge array of uses. It's in the allium family but is a diffferent species than onions. The citronella I use is in essential oil form which I blend with cedarwood oil. But grapefruit peel makes sense too.

Personally, I think the only preventative thing you could use in your neck of the woods would be a haz-mat suit ! ;)

gomez
March 22nd, 2007, 07:15 PM
Thanks for all the posts!

It's not so much the Lyme disease - it's even worse, they are called paralysis ticks and they spew a substance that will paralyse a dog withing 12 hours and kill it within 24 if untouched - it works by paralysin the rear legs first and then works it's way up until the dig can't swallow or breath and it dies - if you find a paralysis tick it must be removed and the dog taken to a vet immediately for an anti-serum...

Have a look here: http://www.vetstop.com.au/info/Tick.asp

As for the Frontline every 2 weeks, it is probably the best way to prevent these ticks attacking, and I would much rather prevent than have to rush the little fellow to the ER to get an anti-serum!!!

We will be in the area of Australia that is where these suckers live and thrive, so there really is no chioce - every vet will prescribe the Frontline every 2 weeks...

Jessi76, the packages here say every 2 weeks for ticks and every month for fleas - there are areas of Australia with no paralysis ticks, we we won't be living there... http://frontline.au.merial.com/flea_tick/dogs/

hazelrunpack, thanks for a most informative post! I am so grossed out by them also, I will use latex gloves if I have to remove any, which apparenly is what you are supposed to do anyway,as they can hurt humans also...

yuck....

H.P.
March 22nd, 2007, 07:21 PM
We have a ton of ticks (and fleas) here, this year will be really bad, because of the mild winter we had. I use the Biospot oil that goes on the back once a month. It works great, I know that it is chemically, but it the benefits are worth the risk in this area. We still check them regularly, with a little cup of alcohol nearby to drop the ticks into to kill them.

Frenchy
March 22nd, 2007, 07:22 PM
They basicly look like this = :evil: pretty gross :yuck: I got 2-3 out of Bailey last summer , don't know why they didn't like Sam nor Daisy :shrug:

glitterless
March 22nd, 2007, 10:46 PM
Thanks for the tick info. I didn't realize that not all ticks carry Lyme disease.

The paralysis is scary. It seems like Australia is home to everything poisonous!

mummummum
March 23rd, 2007, 02:36 AM
Scary-scary Gomez ! Would wearing high riding boots like the long muttluks make sense in your terrain ?

hazelrunpack
March 23rd, 2007, 08:47 AM
Scary-scary Gomez ! Would wearing high riding boots like the long muttluks make sense in your terrain ?

I liked your idea of the hazmat suit...you'd need airconditioning, though... :D

I saw a suit for humans once--basically a head-to-toe mesh overall type thing, complete with a mesh face cover. When we first moved here, I almost considered one, but I didn't know how durable they are and you know how young dogs like to tug on your clothes once in a while :frustrated: . The suits were supposed to keep mosquitoes, ticks, black flies, etc, from getting to your skin. Haven't seen one advertised in years, though... It'd be cooler than a hazmat suit, but still look pretty weird... :o

mummummum
March 23rd, 2007, 08:59 AM
Too bad I'm not at work or I'd be able to give you the name of a company :shrug: Anyway ~ do a search for occupational health and safety supplies. You can get disposables which are a heavy weight, plasticized cloth/paper and keepables that are a light weight fabric. They have hoods but not full face netting but that's something you could probably whip up yourself. They're great protection as long as you're okay about getting funny "OMG Wilma ! CSI is wandering through the woods ! Get the videocamera!" looks from the locals. :D

gomez
March 23rd, 2007, 06:19 PM
OR....

I could get him a little bubble to go around in -

Would get pretty messy on long walks tho...!

mummummum
March 23rd, 2007, 10:48 PM
Hey... like the one's they used to have in Cali ?? Those WERE kewl. :D