Ticks

While Ticks do not have venomous bites or poisonous stings, ticks can cause various diseases, paralysis and severe allergic reactions. While these effects are uncommon, they can pose a serious health threat. These diseases include Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Tick Paralysis, Tick-borne Relapsing Fever, Tularemia, Nephrotic Syndrome, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Colorado Tick Fever. It is not clear as to whether the felines contract any of these diseases. Except listed below.

In our cats the danger is in other conditions caused by the tick such as the tick Amblyomma maculatum, which rarely bites humans, may cause a unique type of paralysis that goes away when the tick is removed. The paralysis can be dangerous if the muscles involved in breathing are affected.

Most tick bites result in only minor irritations unless the cat or kitten is so tick ridden that anemia and or death may occur. However bacterial infections can occur.

Removing a Tick

Petroleum jelly, heat, lighter fluid, alcohol or any other kinds of irritants will NOT make the tick back out. These methods are only successful if the tick is not already securely embedded. Also don’t try unscrewing the tick or squeezing the tick’s body, both methods could make the tick regurgitate under the skin and cause infection.

The best way to get a tick off is to place fine-tipped tweezers close to the skin and grasp the tick’s head, pull gently directly away from the skin surface. Don’t twist or pull sideways.

Treatment: After the Tick is removed disinfect the area and save the tick in a bottle of alcohol for future reference and identification in case complications occur. Note the date of the Tick bite and watch for signs of illness or complications.

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