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Ticked off: seasonal and spatial distribution of ticks on dogs

G. G. Duscher, A. Feiler, M. Leschnik, A. Joachim

KNOWING when the season of tick activity starts is important, both for determining the consequences of infestation and taking appropriate steps to prevent it. This Austrian study investigated the seasonal distribution of ticks throughout the year, the attachment sites of ticks on dogs, and the effect of acaricides and repellents on the occurrence and distribution of ticks on the canine host.

Eighty-five clinically healthy dogs were allocated to one of three groups: an acaricide and repellent group, an acaricide only group and an untreated group. Animals in treatment groups were further categorised according to within or outside protection times (that is, the recommended treatment interval for the ectoparasiticides being tested). The study lasted for 11 months, during which time the dogs were walked daily in an area known to be endemic for ticks. Owners examined their dogs for ticks immediately afterwards, noted where any ticks had been attached and removed them for subsequent classification.

Over 11 months, 700 ticks were collected. The most common species found were …

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