Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 12th 2014 Contents Examples of topically applied products (active ingredients)
include Fipronil, Pyrethroids (permethrin, etc) and Ami-
Remember that not every pet owner may be as con-
scientious as you, and that ticks can walk from one
home to another. Despite the fact that you are treating
your pet for ticks, your neighbour may not and, therefore,
your pet should be on a preventative programme rather
than only receive treatment when you see a tick. You
should also treat the environment your pet lives in
because eggs will be shed in areas where the pet
sleeps/plays, and these will hatch into new generations
If you find ticks on your pet, you must remove them.
Correct tick removal is important because inappropriate
methods can result in: the tick s mouth parts being left
behind in the skin (causing localised infection); com-
pression of the tick s abdomen (causing back-flow of
potentially infective fluids); puncture of the tick s body
(spilling potentially infective fluids); and injury and stress
to the tick (causing potential regurgitation of infectious
Applying solutions such as alcohol, aftershave, oils/but-
ter, paraffin or petroleum jelly, or twiddling the tick,
may irritate the tick and result in it regurgitating saliva
or stomach contents, which can contain disease-causing
organisms. Applying a freezing agent or burning the tick
with a cigarette, lighter, or match head may also result
in fluids being forced out from the tick into you or your
pet s blood stream, not to mention the fact that you
may also burn your pet.
Wear latex gloves to protect yourself or, in the absence
of gloves, shield your fingers with tissue or paper. If you
handle the tick with bare hands, you risk the transmission
of infective agents through breaks in your skin or through
your mucous membranes (if you touch your eyes, nostrils
or mouth). Using a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, grasp
the tick as close to the pet s skin as possible and pull
upwards with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk
the tick as this may leave the mouth parts embedded,
or cause the tick to regurgitate infective fluids. Remove
any embedded mouth parts with tweezers or a sterilised
needle. Do not squeeze or crush the body of the tick,
because its fluids (saliva and gut contents) may contain
infective organisms. You can kill the tick by placing in
a jar with rubbing alcohol. After removing the tick, dis-
infect the bite site with soap and water and wash your
hands thoroughly. You should also wash the tweezers
before using again. Keep an eye on the bite site for a
few days afterwards, in case of further irritation or infec-
Note: Cats are extremely sensitive to a variety of
chemicals. Do not apply any insect, acaricides, or repel-
lents to your cats without first consulting your veteri-
narian! Pesticides used to kill ticks on pets usually also
have adverse effects on beneficial wildlife in the ecosys-
tems. Therefore, you should take as much precaution
as possible to ensure that the run-off does not get into
rivers and streams, where they will kill everything.
• Copyright © Kristel-Marie Ramnath 2013.
For further information, contact 689-8113 or
January 12, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Ticks are small parasites that suck the blood of their hosts---
including dogs, cats, and humans---and can transmit serious dis-
eases. The best way to keep you and your pets safe is to prevent
ticks in the first place, and immediately remove any you find on
A repellent product such as a Pyrethroid may prevent the tick
from coming into contact with your pet, or has anti-feeding effects
once the tick comes into contact with the chemical, thus preventing
a bite, but this will not kill the tick.
A pesticide product that kills ticks is known as an acaricide. Aca-
ricides that can be used on dogs include dusts and impregnated
collars, but these are not as effective as sprays or topical treatments
and should be used in combination with the latter, if at all. Some
acaricides kill the tick on contact, while others may be absorbed
into the bloodstream of a dog and kill ticks that attach and feed.
Remove and prevent ticks
Observe manufacturer's instructions:
• Too strong will poison pet.
• More is not better.
• Harmful to person using it if stronger.
• Eyes, nose and mouth protected.
• Should not come into contact with human
If you find ticks on
your pet, you must
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