The tick is a parasite that feeds on the blood of its hosts, and when active, it likes to sit on a blade of grass and wait patiently for a suitable mammal to pass by. Unfortunately, our four-legged friends, dogs and cats, are particularly vulnerable tick bite due to their frequent travel off the beaten path.

Ticks are found all over the world, and scientists have so far identified more than 900 different species. These many tick species have different geographical distributions, but in Norway there is one species in particular that is important to be aware of – the forest tick (Ixodes ricinus). This tick also has several other names, such as male tick, scaubjønn or tege.

What makes the wood tick particularly problematic is its ability to carry with it a number of bacteria and viruses that can be transmitted to both animals and humans. When the tick sucks blood, it can thus transfer infectious agents to its host animal. One of the most well-known and serious diseases that can be transmitted via tick bites is Lyme disease. This is a disease that can have serious consequences for animals that become infected, and symptoms such as rash, fever, fatigue and joint pain can occur.

It is therefore important to be aware of tick bite symptoms and take the necessary precautions to avoid infection. After outdoor activities, it is important to thoroughly inspect the body of the dog or cat for ticks, especially in areas that are difficult to see, such as the scalp, ears and groin. If a tick is found, it should be removed as soon as possible using tweezers or a tick remover to reduce the risk of transmission.

In case of suspicion of a tick bite or symptoms after a tick bite, such as fever, rash or general malaise, it is important to consult a veterinarian for advice and possible treatment. With the right attention and measures, you can reduce the risk of tick-bite diseases and protect your pets.

What tick-borne diseases can dogs and cats get?

The most common is The Borrelia bacterium, which causes Lyme disease (LB). The tick can also be infected with other infectious agents that can cause the diseases babesiosis ("blood piss"), anaplasmosis ("sjodog") and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). A number of factors, including an increased incidence of deer, overgrowth of vegetation and climate change, have led to an increase in the number of ticks in recent decades. There are also indications that the tick is establishing itself in new places in the country. This has led to an increase in the number of disease cases, both from LB and from other tick-borne diseases.

Ticks on blades of grass. Tick ​​bite

Remove the tick quickly

Very few tick bite results in disease, but both dogs and cats that are bitten by ticks can become infected with a tick-borne disease. The sooner a tick that has bitten into the animal is removed, the lower the risk of infection being transmitted from the tick.

In humans, 1-2 out of 100 tick bites cause disease. About 10% of dogs with tick bites can develop disease. The more tick bites they get, the greater the risk. With us, we have experienced that farm dogs without protection have the greatest risk of developing tick-borne diseases. A study showed that a dog with around 150 tick bites developed disease in 75% of the cases.

Preventive tick agent for dogs and cats

Here in Vestfold, we unfortunately have a lot of ticks, so we recommend that you use preventive tick treatment for dogs and cats. Even if you use tick repellent, it is important that you check your animal for ticks often - then you have a good chance of removing the tick before it has had time to attach. Preventive tick treatment for dogs is available without a prescription at the pharmacy. You need a prescription from a vet for all types of preventive tick treatment for cats.

Preventive vaccine against Lyme disease

We recommend our customers to take The Lyme disease vaccine. Lyme disease is a serious bacterial disease that is transmitted by forest tick bites. Borrelia can develop into Lyme disease, which can cause joint inflammation, muscle pain, fever and reduced appetite. In chronic cases, the skin, heart, kidneys and nervous system can be affected. Patients who arrive late for treatment may experience organ failure.

Symptoms of tick bites

There are several different tick bite symptoms. Arthritis, fever, fatigue, reduced performance are the most common symptoms in dogs. 

A hard lump may appear after a tick bite, as well as a small wound. Treatment of the wound may be necessary if it has occurred in a sensitive area such as around the eye. The treatment will shorten the healing process and relieve itching that can cause irritation. 

When should you contact a veterinarian?

  • If you want preventive tick products for dogs or cats
  • If you want to vaccinate your dog against Lyme disease
  • If you suspect a tick-borne disease in a dog or cat