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What Pug owners need to know about ticks

When the warm weather comes, Pug owners everywhere should be ready to protect their dogs from ticks. Known scientifically as "Rhipicephalus Sanquineus", these blood-sucking bugs can carry disease. Ticks can infect humans with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, cause paralysis, and can even kill our precious Pugs.

Ticks are parasites. They were blamed for carrying the buggies that caused the death of so many dogs used by the military back in the 60s and 70s. After close study, it was shown that ordinary ticks were the culprit.

Although there are several different species of ticks (wood tick, brown Pug tick, etc.), a tick by any other name is still a tick. Because of resistance to insecticides, the tick is one of the most difficult external parasites to control.

This can really gross people out, but it's absolutely true that a female tick can produce several thousand eggs - yuck! They usually lay their eggs under the carpet, in a little whole in the baseboard, or some other dark and out-of-the-way place. Ticks lay their eggs in a safe place but never on the body of their victim. Once the eggs hatch after a month or so, they turn into larvae. Tick larvae seek out their first host, where they'll suck down some blood and then detach to go find a place to hide out.

A few weeks later, the tick larvae transform themselves into nymphs, which are sort of like teenagers. These nymphs looks for another host to grab some more blood, then fall off to rest again. Then, after another few weeks, the nymph transforms into an adult tick. Of course, now the adult tick is ready to seek out another host like a Pug, where it will fill up on blood and mate.

It's pretty amazing but an adult tick can last for three years inside with out sucking the blood of a host. That's pretty alarming and can be sad news for Pug dog owners, as this means you can have ticks lurking in ambush in the house or in the yard.

A tick outside will look for a hunting ground, which means getting up into some low-hanging branches or into a pile of leaves. This becomes the launching pad for the tick when an unsuspecting Pug dog comes along for a potty break or just running by in play. The tick will literally launch itself and jump up to several feet to land onto its victim.

If a tick somehow made its way or was born in your home, it will peek out from beneath carpers or rugs to wait for a victim to pass within range. It's a bit disturbing but ticks can wait for as long as 4 months for a victim. And when a Pug or person comes close, it only takes a tick an instant to jump on as the victim passes close by.

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Sunday, 25 October 2020

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