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Protect the owner and dog from ticks
Dog owners spend a lot of time in nature with their protégés. Together they hike through forests, meadows and fields in wind and weather. Once at home, there is sometimes an unwanted souvenir that has been sucked into the dog or person - a tick. The Hamburg dog trainer Monica Pertzsch knows the problem and therefore takes various preventive measures for herself and her dog, because ticks can transmit pathogens.
Forming a team of dogs and humans that trusts each other - that is what makes Monica Pertzsch so attractive for her work. The woman from Hamburg came to this job by accident. Years ago, she got a dog from the shelter that showed unusual behaviors. To find the causes of this, she attended various dog schools. Due to her increased interest in the subject, Martin Rütter, the dog trainer who became known through television programs and guidebooks, recommended that she learn this profession herself. So today she not only spends a lot of time in nature with her own four-legged friend, but also with strangers. Everyday life also includes encounters with eight-legged friends - the ticks. That is why Monica Pertzsch relies on preventive measures.
Ticks can be found almost everywhere
Contrary to a widespread myth that animals fall from trees, ticks are mainly found near the ground. They do not care whether it is the undergrowth in the forest, blades of grass in a meadow or bushes in parks or gardens. Adult ticks can also climb up to 1.5 meters high, but they can usually be found at hip and knee height. Therefore, there is also a risk of being bitten by ticks when walking the dog on a daily basis.
Ticks can transmit pathogens
Ticks themselves are harmless for humans and animals, but since they can transmit various pathogens, one should avoid tick bites. The early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE) virus is one of these pathogens. This virus can be transmitted immediately when stinging and cause diseases of the meninges and the central nervous system. Some of those affected have serious health consequences. The TBE cannot be treated causally, only the symptoms can be alleviated with medication. However, various measures in advance can help prevent tick bites.
Precautionary measures in humans
Monica Pertzsch also uses various precautionary measures to avoid tick bites. "I never walk through tall grass," she clarifies, "and always wear appropriate clothing." It makes sense to choose sturdy shoes, as well as long and light clothing. On the one hand, ticks are difficult to access to the skin, on the other hand, the small animals are quickly visible on light-colored fabrics and can be removed before they bite. It can also help to pull your socks over your pants. Furthermore, insect repellent sprays, called repellents, can keep ticks at a distance. Monica Pertzsch also searches her body after every stay in nature. Ultimately, vaccination protection can also prevent you from getting TBE after a tick bite.
Dogs can also become victims of ticks
Because dogs are closer to grass and undergrowth, they are also more prone to ticks. In addition, the brown dog tick, originally from Africa and southern Europe, is now more common in local latitudes. This type of parasite prefers - as the name suggests - above all our four-legged friends as hosts. Also for the four-legged friends, the encounter with ticks can result in dangerous diseases, such as babesiosis (dog malaria) and also anaplasmosis. However, pets and Lyme disease are also possible. For dogs there is no vaccination against TBE, but there is certainly vaccination against Lyme disease. This is recommended by the Standing Vaccination Committee for Animals (StIKo Vet) for all dogs that are at risk of infection. Basic immunization can start in puppies from the twelfth week.
Tick protection for the dog
In addition to preventive measures for herself, Monica Pertzsch also keeps an eye on her dog. The dog trainer relies on chemical preparations - on the one hand spot-on means and on the other hand special collars. Thanks to the contact antiparasitics, ticks die as soon as they suck blood. If you share your house with an animal, you should also consider that dogs and cats can also bring ticks into the house or ticks can crawl from the animal to the owner while playing or petting them together, without you noticing. Therefore, dog owners should check their animals for ticks as thoroughly as for themselves after each walk. So you can use the cuddle time to remove ticks before they can cause any damage.