Forrests and meadows in most of the continental Croatia
Ticks (Ixodida) are parasytes, living on the host organism that can transfer a numner of diseases. A host can be a human, or any higher mammal, such as a dog, a cat, a cow, as well as birds and reptiles. Any dog, cat or human that goes in the nature unprotected can get a tick.
How to find and remove a tick?
In humans the tick will try and find locations where the skin is more moist and softer, such as the skin on your stomach, groin, armpits and behind your ears. In the dogs, you can mostly find them in the front part, especially around the neck and the head. After you found the parasyte on your skin or inside your pet’s fur, separate the fur with your hands, grasp the tick firmly with two fingers (apply most of the pressure around the head) and simply pull it out, no twisting, turning or complicating.
In any pet store you can also buy a special tool to remove the tick. It is a pen-shaped tweezer, bent slightly so that it can go around the ticks body and take hold directly above the hosts skin by it’s head. Twisting it lightly left-right will make tick loosen, and then you can take it out without any problems. Ticks do not go into the skin spirally, they have a harpoon-shaped mouthpart, so there’s no need to take it out with the circular motion. If you were to leave the tick’s head inside the skin, it’s no problem to remove it later with a sterilized needle.
DO NOT try and suffocate tics with oil (they can live without air for a long time), poison them with insecticides, intoxicate them with gasoline and alcohol, burn them with cigarettes etc. By using some of those methods you really will make it lose it’s grip to the skin, but it will also relax completely and regurgitate it’s insides back into the host – thus dramatically increasing the odds for contracting any of the diseases.
Diseases and protection
The most dangerous diseases that a tick can infect a human with are lyme disease i tick-borne meningoencephalitis. For dogs, the most dangerous disease is piroplasmosis(also known as babesiosis).
Both in humans and in dogs, if treated too late lethal outcomes are possible.
You can protect yourselves from tick bites and contracting diseases from them by:
- using repelenats before going outside
- vaccinating people and pets against tick-borne diseases.