Ticked off!!

Ticks on Jack's nose
Ticks on Jack’s nose

Jack has been chasing wild rabbits for days. He’s not even come close to catching one, but not for lack of effort.  He’s loved the exercise and I’ve loved seeing him happy and doing what he’s supposed to do. However the downside is that he has caught dozens of ticks 🙁

I’ve twice laid him on the sofa and spent around an hour and a half taking them out one by one. I stopped counting at 63 in the first session. Some of them are so small it’s unreal. I used a close-up lens to show this little lot grouped around his whiskers. You can see the small white dots. There’s also black ones and the odd red one. Presumably they’re at different stages of feeding?

Now if you’ve got good eyes you’ll spot around 2 dozen in this picture.  I didn’t imagine ticks could be so small and that’s the time consuming part of it, finding them all then being able to actually get a hold of them with the tick puller. Some were right in the base of his whiskers and they really took some digging out. The trick is in not tearing off the small tubes they insert into his skin to feed with, but in spinning the ticks body to ensure the tubes slide out complete. Leaving bits of insect in his skin can lead to infection I read. So I’m really careful as I don’t want more vets bills!

Whether the ticks are to blame for his missing whiskers I don’t know. I’d not noticed any missing before now. I doubt it as all ticks do is feed on blood and spread disease. A woman I know has Lyme’s disease as a result of a tick. I’ve checked myself over and luckily I don’t have any.

Yes Jack has been Front-lined. I’m guessing that when you have your face stuck in the entrance to a wild rabbit warren several times an evening there’s nothing that’s going to be effective against them, but I can’t wait for them to drop out, and have ticks all over the van. Yuk!

More ticks on Jack's nose
More ticks on Jack’s nose

This photo clearly shows a black one as well as a white one. I assume the black ones have fed and the white ones haven’t?

These ones are easier to see as the hairs on his snout are so short.  I found some on the base of his foot behind his pad, on his testicle, in the folds of his ears and one sneaky one that I missed at first as it was attached so close to his nipple.  I’m fairly certain that there will be some I’ve missed despite dedication to the task of cleaning my little man up, so I dug the Bob Martin tick spray out and soaked Jack where his fur is longest, at the back of his neck. Oddly, I’ve not got one from there yet and my guess is ticks might like short hair so they can get to the skin easily?

I think I’m gonna Frontline Jack again anyway and check him every other day for more, in case there’s hatchlings or the odd one I missed.

What I’d like to know is, what useful purpose do ticks actually serve? None? Thought not. So come on scientists … develop a poison and eradicate them from earth! One of the benefits of being top of the food chain should be getting to choose who stays and who goes!

The last photo below shows half a dozen of the little buggers hiding in his eyebrows. One was almost in his eye!

Ticks on Jack's eyebrow
Ticks on Jack’s eyebrow

 

Jack laid there, either laid out on his belly, flat on his back or on his side jammed in between me and the cushion so I could easily get at them, without so much as a whimper. He went to sleep mostly while I got on with the task, letting me check between his toes and completely unflinching even when I was taking them from his eyebrows.

He’s the best dog ever and he earned himself some chewy dog choc for being such a brave little soldier 🙂

Update**

Apparently Frontline lasts for 3 months. Yep … Jack was done over 3 months ago! Duh at me.

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