A tick bite poses the same danger to a cat as it does to humans. Therefore, if a parasite is found on the body of an animal, it should be immediately removed. This can be done at the veterinarian or on your own at home.
How to detect a tick
If the cat often walks on the street, then upon returning home, it is necessary to carefully examine it for parasites. For this, wool is combed in different directions.
The parasite can be detected by the following distinguishing features:
- The body is round in shape brownish, gray or black.
- When sucking to the skin from the outside, only the body remains, it looks like a brown flat drop. A well-fed parasite is much easier to detect. When it is saturated with blood, the body becomes pinkish and increases in size. A closer look reveals a small head and several pairs of legs (3-4).
Most often, ticks are sucked in areas with thin skin: behind the ears, on the stomach, in the armpits. The cat itself does not feel a bite, because the parasite secretes saliva, which contains painkillers.
How to pull out a tick correctly
If a parasite is found in your pet, you need to quickly remove it. For the procedure, it is better to wear rubber gloves to protect yourself from accidental infection. In addition, this will reduce the risk of damage to the skin of the animal.
- fix the cat;
- treat the bite site, tools and hands with an antiseptic;
- start pulling out the tick with neat circular movements in a clockwise direction.
There are two techniques for removing a tick in a cat. Let's consider each of them in more detail:
- Using hands or tweezers. The body is covered with fingers or an instrument in the immediate vicinity of the proboscis. When pulling, the movements should be slow, with swaying from side to side. The tool is always held parallel to the skin. Next, the bite site is treated with any antiseptic (a solution of brilliant green, iodine, chlorhexidine).
- Using a syringe. This method is used less frequently. Part of the syringe is cut off (from the side of the needle) and pressed tightly to the place where the parasite sits. Then the air is slowly pumped out. The tick comes out due to the difference in pressure. The bite site is treated.
After extraction, the parasite is always destroyed. The tick can be sealed in airtight packaging and taken to a laboratory for testing. This must be done in the first 48 hours after the bite. Statistics claim that every fifth parasite is a vector of infection.
What to do is prohibited:
- Do not use lubricants (oil, petroleum jelly, etc.). The tick suffocates and dies, the extraction process is complicated.
- Do not put pressure on the tick; it is better to place it in alcohol or burn it. If the parasite is crushed, the risk of infection will increase.
- Do not make sudden movements. The head left under the skin contributes to the development of the inflammatory process.
If you are afraid to get a tick yourself, then it is better to seek help from a specialist in a veterinary clinic. The doctor will perform the manipulation quickly and professionally.
If the head remains
The head left under the skin is almost always clearly visible. Removing it is not difficult. You should arm yourself with a sewing needle, disinfect it, and pick out the rest of the insect. After that, treat the wound with an antiseptic. If later it nevertheless becomes inflamed, then you can use a spray with hydrocortisone.
In the first month after a tick bite, you need to carefully monitor the condition of the animal, tracking any changes in its behavior. That is how long the incubation period of infectious diseases that carry ixodic parasites lasts. In addition, allergies may develop. The following signs should alert:
- poor appetite;
- weight loss;
- dull hair;
- the presence of itching;
- discoloration of urine;
- stool problems.
Cats are vaccinated against encephalitis - prophylactic immunoglobulin is administered. The vaccine is paid, but the safety and health of a beloved pet is worth it.
The risk group includes cats that live and walk near the forest (for example, in the country). To protect them, there are numerous antiparasitic drugs sold in veterinary pharmacies. They are designed to repel insects and ticks. Here are the options:
- Sprays and drops at the withers. Most effective, but toxic and have a short duration. Animals must not be allowed to lick them off the coat.
- Collars Thin rubber straps are impregnated with a special composition. Less toxic, but allergic reactions or irritation may occur due to prolonged skin contact. It is better to wear them only during walks, and take them off at home.
Any owner wants his pet to be healthy. So, in the warm season, you need to pay increased attention to the safety of cats and use preventive measures against ticks.