The tick is a parasite affecting humans and animals that feeds off blood by inserting their head into their host's skin.
The tick can be found anywhere on the cat's body, but particularly on it's neck, back, or head.
The tick climbs onto its host from the ground or drops off of tall grass when it feels the vibrations created by it as it's passing.
It will stay on it's hosts for 3 to 14 days and will let go once it has had it's blood meal.
It is important to note that migratory birds are significant vectors f ticks from the United States.
Ticks can be carriers of several microorganisms that cause disease in cats. For example, Cytauxzoon felis is responsible fot causing cytauxzoonosis, a disease that can be fatal.
Furthermore, cats can sometimes contract tularemia, caused by Francisella tularensis, following a tick bite. This disease is contagious to humans, as is Lyme disease, which is more common in our country, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi.
A Deticker® can be used to remove a tick. It is a small plastic tool, whose shape is reminiscent of a crowbar, that is inserted between the skin and the tick.
By rotating the tool, the tick eventually detaches itself without leaving behind any mouth pieces that can cause a localised inflammatory reaction. Once the tick has been removed, the area where it was should be cleaned.
It is recommended to have the tick sent to the Laboratoire de Santé Publique du Québec to identify it and determine if it carries any diseases such as Lyme disease, for example, who prevalence is increasing in Quebec.
Gloves should be worn when handling ticks to avoid contact with the skin.
We can prevent ticks on our pets by administering preventative products from spring to fall.