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Ticks n’ tweezers

Cat and tick

Tick not to scale

No, it’s not a Vietnamese restaurant specialising in deep-fried insects – just something to call this post about a new-found joy, ticks.

In Spain, our cats have been adorned by them – a quick rummage in the fur and tiny black pearls of blood-sucking critters can be found. Scaled down, it’s like a Barbie doll with a vampire bat on her neck. Or Ken.

All the cats have them. S thinks she ‘caught’ one off Paloma as she cuddled up to her. What seemed like an itchy scab, revealed a tick macheteing its way into her neck. Apparently ticks find their hosts by detecting their breath and body odours. We should be covered in hundreds of them.

Wikipedia states: Tweezers can be used to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and detach it by applying a steady upward force without crushing, jerking or twisting, in such a way as to avoid leaving behind mouthparts or provoking regurgitation of infective fluids into the wound.

And as professor Agustin Estrada of Zaragoza University said in 2011: The public needs to know how to eradicate and prevent tick-borne diseases such as Lyme’s disease, Crimean Haemorrhagic  Fever and Rickettsian infection. Although seldom life-threatening, they could be incapacitating and the several hundred cases reported in Spain each year are sufficient to constitute a public health problem..

We’ll survive and it’s hopefully nothing that a gin and tonic can’t sort out. For the cats it was a squirt of Frontline on the back of their necks.

If any of our blog followers can offer their experiences of ticks, please comment below.

Here’s some good information about them, should you be at a loose end.

Related posts:

It’s got legs

It’s got legs (part 2)

Spiders – look away now if you don’t like

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All about Granada, Órgiva, La Alpujarras, Las Alpujarras, Andalucia, Spain – tapas, history, local guides and more.


5 thoughts on “Ticks n’ tweezers

  1. The drop on the back of the neck works well, but always make my cats sleepy and I think not feeling too great for a day or so afterwards, which makes me worry it is too strong (I am always worried about them though! One has a cold at the moment, poor baby)

    Posted by Wendy Kate | March 23, 2014, 9:22 am
    • Well each of our cats had the same dose – one a large Tom (Possum), Tinkerbell (equally as large) and baby Paloma. All OK. They sleep a lot anyway!

      Posted by con jamón spain | March 23, 2014, 7:23 pm
  2. Aw, poor poppets… all of you! I think I’ve only had two or three ticks in my lifetime. So far. Freaky little things… and you’ve got to be so careful to get the mouth parts out when you extract them. Apparently, smothering them in a thick layer of vaseline makes them drop out, coz it suffocates them.

    Posted by ladyofthecakes | March 22, 2014, 9:16 pm
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