The risk of tick bites is particularly great from spring to late autumn. A walk through the forest can then be fatal for the dog. Because the parasites transmit dangerous diseases, including Lyme disease or early summer meningoenziphalitis (TBE). Therefore, all dog owners should prevent disease transmission on a regular basis. Here you can read about the possibilities.
Prevent ticks: what you can do
Since the little beasts are mainly in the high, moist grass in forests and meadows, you can of course try to avoid these areas. However, this is not an excellent solution, since your four-legged friend is particularly happy to take a walk there.
At least you should check the animal for ticks after every walk. This method is helpful, but also does not offer any reliable protection against ticks. Given the small size of the parasites, they are too easily overlooked. The most effective protection against ticks is therefore prophylactic preparations that you can get from the vet.
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Prevent safely: spot-on preparations and tick collars
To protect the dog, you should regularly treat it with anti-tick preparations. There is a choice between collars and spot-on preparations. The latter are instilled in the animal's fur and keep bloodsuckers away by paralyzing them or irritating their sense of smell. Such so-called repellents offer the advantage that they prevent the parasite from biting.
In contrast to most parasite agents, which only kill the bloodsucker when it has already bitten, the risk of transmitting the disease is significantly lower. Ask your veterinarian for advice on the right preparation.
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Prevent ticks in dogs: side effects of the funds
If you are concerned that tick repellants may have side effects, talk to your veterinarian. The following symptoms and symptoms are observed as possible side effects of spot-on preparations and tick collars:
● hair loss
● Pustules or blisters
● redness of the skin
● tremors (rare)
● Lethargy and depression (rare)
In addition, most products must not be used on puppies. Despite possible side effects of the medication, you should not resort to dubious home remedies without consulting the veterinarian - these can sometimes do more harm than good. Your veterinarian will discuss the potential dangers with you and professionally weigh up whether the positive effects of the products outweigh the risks. He can also give you specific tips on tick repelling in puppies.
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Can you prevent tick bite infection?
The greatest risk of infection from a tick bite is borrelia, bacteria that cause Lyme disease. The symptoms of Lyme disease are very non-specific and resemble those of the flu. You can read more about this in the guide "Dog Lyme Symptoms: Detect Disease". Not every dog that is bitten by a tick becomes infected with Lyme disease, but the risk is higher in Germany than with TBE or babesiosis (dog malaria), which are also transmitted by ticks.
A vaccine exists for dogs against Lyme disease, but vaccination is not without controversy. It only protects against a part of the Borrelia strains, so that your dog can catch Lyme disease while on vacation despite vaccination. Borreliosis vaccination is also said to cause kidney infection if the dog was previously infected. However, the veterinarian can check this with a quick test. The same applies here: speak to your veterinarian and he will explain the pros and cons of a Lyme disease vaccination for your dog.
The other infectious diseases that are transmitted by ticks cannot be avoided by vaccination. The only help here is to protect your dog from tick infestation and to check him for the parasites after each walk. The faster you remove them, the lower the risk of infection. In addition, healthy dogs with a strong immune system can often fight the pathogens before they can trigger a disease.