Questions about ticks

Questions about ticks

This article brings together the most popular questions about ticks. When to start treating your dog for ticks, at what time ticks are most active when to do a blood test, symptoms of piroplasmosis in dogs.

Questions about ticks

Question: Now the winter is over, when do you start to treat ticks?

The answer is:

Ticks will activate around the beginning of April, but there is a risk of running into the active tick at any time of year at any temperature.
The basic criteria for when to treat your dog:
If you go hunting, you should treat your dog all year round.
If the average daily temperature is stable above +5 degrees centigrade.
If the snow melts (in winter, beware of heat lines and protamine).

Question: Somehow it's all vague, let's schedule the activity of ticks by months!

The answer is:

In July and August, the activity of ticks is minimal, but in May June, and September it is maximum. The horizontal shift in different years is due to different humidity and temperature. When the humidity is above the tick, the activity is more active. At high temperatures, the mites are less active.

Question: They say that a tick can be caught even in the city center. I don't believe it. Where will it come from?

The answer is:

The carrier of ticks is not only animals but also birds. The transfer occurs in the early phases of tick growth, before its final phase of development the tick can change two or three different hosts and at each phase it must bite its carrier, getting its blood and at the same time the possibility to move to the next phase. Ticks can bite you wherever there are birds, mice, and hedgehogs. Including ticks can catch you right in the yard of your house.

Tick life cycle:

Tick life cycle

Question: Is it true that ticks sit on trees and fall from above on the head of passers-by?

The answer is:

No, that's a common misconception. The ticks sit in the grass and bushes, no higher than 1 meter from the ground. They can smell the victim and when they pass by they take a special waiting pose. If the victim touches the plant on which the tick is located, then thanks to this pose the tick can easily attach itself to the victim. In other countries, however, ticks falling from trees do indeed live on the victim, but in North America, such ticks do not.

Question: They say that ticks are most often located along the trails, is it true?

The answer is:

Partly. The ticks are located where they fell from the host animal. These animals are more likely to walk along the trails. A fallen stick moves very slowly in a horizontal plane: in a month it moves by 5-10 meters at most. Since the tick can feel the presence of the trail, it moves towards the trail more often. All this doesn't mean, however, that the tick doesn't exist where there are no trails - you can easily catch the tick on bay meadows or just in a forest more often. It should be noted that in coniferous forests the probability of catching a tick is much lower.

Question: Saw dogs covered in ticks from head to toe. They don't get any piroplasmosis. What's going on here?

It's the answer:

Different dogs have different resistance to the disease. Mongrels are less vulnerable: they have very strict natural selection. In addition, mongrels can suffer from Babesiosis chronically, in which case the symptoms are very weak. Some vets have noted that Collie, Kidneys, Shelli, Cocker spaniel, Breton Espagnol, Yorkshire terrier, Dobermann, Rottweiler are more susceptible to piroplasmosis.

Question: At what time are the ticks most active during the day?

The answer is:

During daylight hours from approximately 8 am to 8 pm. However, tick attacks also occur outside of this time interval.

Question: I treated my dog for ticks with an expensive A, but the tick still bit me. All this treatment is a shoe!

The answer is:

Tick repellent doesn't have to protect against bites, it has to protect against piroplasmosis. Some of the active ingredients in these treatments only start to work when the bite occurs. So if a tick bites a dog, it doesn't mean that the treatment didn't work. The tick must die within the first few hours of the bite, if it hasn't, then it can be said that it's not working.

Question: I treated my dog with medication B and he was poisoned/dead. Do not buy medication B, it is dangerous/low quality!

The answer is:

All tick products are dangerous, poisoning is always possible. When treating your dog you should know that the chances of poisoning are not only determined by the product itself but also by his sensitivity to the pesticide. The same product can be dangerous for one dog and safe for another. The smaller a dog is, the more important it is to choose the right dosage and the higher the risk of poisoning.

Question: My dog was bitten by a tick. Maybe it's urgent to go to the vet and get a blood test?

The answer is:

The test is called light microscopy of peripheral blood smears, blood is taken from your dog's ear. If your dog doesn't show any signs of disease, it's pointless to do a blood test either because the concentration of parasites in the blood is too low for a reliable test. You can try a test three days after the bite, but this will still give you a pretty low guarantee. So why do a blood test at all? Make sure that your dog is suffering from piroplasmosis if he shows signs of illness. It'll give him the right treatment.

What should we do anyway? You should monitor your dog for three weeks. If your dog shows at least one of the following symptoms, it is urgent to see a vet. 


  • The main symptom is a high temperature of up to 41*C. Warning: Some sources say your dog may have a high fever with piroplasmosis but his nose will remain wet and cold. If you suspect an infection, take your dog's temperature regularly, daily, or better yet three to four times a day (frequent measurement is necessary in case of an acute form of illness, when it counts for hours). For an adult dog, the limit is 39.0*C and for a puppy it's 39.5*C.
  • weakness, lethargy, apathy, reduced activity
  • dark pee, blood in the urine
  • mucous membranes turn yellow \ are discolored
  • constipation, but also possible diarrhea.
  • rapid breathing
  • refusal to eat
  • hind limb weakness
  • thirst
If a dog is highly resistant, it can be chronic, with the same symptoms but less pronounced. In this case, the dog still needs treatment.

Note that piroplasmosis can be contracted not only from a tick bite but also from a nymph bite (second stage of growth). A nymph bite from the latter is very difficult to notice.