Ectoparasites - Tick (sheep tick)

  • Created by: Kit-Novak
  • Created on: 23-11-18 13:31
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  • Tick (sheep)
    • Description
      • Small
      • 8-legged
      • Wingless
      • Specialized mouth parts for piercing skin and sucking blood from their mammal host
        • Their saliva contains a mild anesthetic and an anticoagulant, which stops blood from clotting so they can keep feeding
    • Only adult females feed
    • Life Cycle
      • A 3 host stage development, which takes at least one year to complete
      • Adult female lays numerous eggs on the ground after a blood meal from the host
      • 1 - Larvae climb onto a host (primarily small mammals and birds) and feed, then fall to the ground and molt into nymphs
      • 2 - Nymphs climb onto a second host, feed, and fall to the ground where they molt into adults
      • 3 - Adults climb onto a third host, feed and mate, then fall to the ground and lay eggs
    • Signs and Symptoms
      • Finding them on the animal (visible grey dots attached to the skin that may be mistaken for warts), most commonly in areas where there is little or no hair on the animal, such as in/around ears, inside of the legs, or in between toes
      • Fever
      • Lethargy
      • Lameness
      • Joint pain
    • Treatment
      • Safe removal of the tick using tick tweezers - grab hold of the animal's head then twist anticlockwise until the tick comes away from the animal, ensuring the whole tick has been removed
      • Smear the tick with petroleum jelly and leave it to suffocate
    • Prevention
      • Regular use of preventative treatments such as treatments applied directly to the animal's fur, sprays, collars impregnated with tick repellent
      • Avoiding areas where ticks are more common, such as woodland areas and long rough grass, between March and October


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