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14 Feb 2004

I Dr., sorry to be a pest again. Where do ticks came from and why do they like the dogs so much? I have those two dogs (Sibrian Wolf / Husky & Alstain / Wolf). My dogs seem to be full of ticks and even if they don't wander around, there is always ticks on them. I have tried Front line, but find dipping easier to get rid of the ticks. Also what systoms must I look out for for tick-bite fever on the dogs and on me, as I found two ticks on my leg the other night.

Thanks! Liesl
Answer 434 views

01 Jan 0001

Ticks live in the garden and environment, and may be so small that they are barely visible to the naked eye. They would get on the dogs as they wander around the garden, and then quickly start to suckle and grow to the visible size you can see clearly. They need to suckle blood to grow and procreate, so it is part of their normal life cycle It is not possible to get rid of them in their environment and the best and only option is to treat the dogs with effective tick preventatives. These include the Frontline that you have already used (which must be applied more frequently if necessary, to control ticks) and is very safe. There are also alternative products and dips available from your veterinarian, and tick collars may also be very effective. It is best to discuss the various products with your vet, especially when combining products, to avoid serious toxicity. Also, certain products will only be effective against fleas and not ticks, and vice versa.

The symptoms of tick bite fever is usually lack of appetite and listlessness as the first signs, caused by a fever. The mucous membranes may also then become pale, however you try and be so observant that you can get to your vet before they become very pale, as it then becomes more dangerous and more serious and more expensive to treat.

Dr Malan van Zyl
Veterinary Specialist Physician
Cape Town
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