Think of ticks on pets, and what is the first four-legged friend that comes to mind? For most people it’s dogs. The next most commonly referenced pets are typically cats.
Third place is anyone’s guess, although one outdoor pet – the horse – usually experiences tick infestation rates much higher than other barnyard animals. One overseas study showed much higher tick infestation rates for horses than cattle!
Unfortunately, horses are under threat from ticks for most of the year, domestically and globally. Appalachian states with hot, sticky summers and cold winters (Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia, New York, etc.) have extended tick seasons, along with Southern states with year-round sun (Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, etc.). Australia’s horse ranches generally see tick infestation from September through May. One thing is for certain…if you love and care for a horse, the fight against ticks will never end.
It is for these reasons that you should always carry the revolutionary TickZapper®. Having this easy-to-use, lightweight (1 oz!) tick removal tool provides immediate and quick tick removal – without the risk of human contact! Timely tick removal is vital to preventing tick-borne disease transfer, regardless of whether the tick is located on your cat, dog, horse, or other pet. Thanks to its compact and ergonomic design, the TickZapper® removes the entire tick (including mouthparts!). The tick is fully captured and safely contained in the encapsulation chamber, enabling you to dispose of the tick or send it for testing.
How do ticks impact equine health, and what can be done to minimize the presence of ticks in and around your pasture?
The Equine Effect: How Ticks Impact Horse Health
While dogs and cats are preferred blood hosts, the equine is equally susceptible to ticks and tick-borne diseases. After all, the horse’s home – a barn – doesn’t offer the type of shelter from ticks as a home provides for domesticated animals.
The type of ticks that prefer horses are different than regular dog ticks. Two different horse ticks, in particular, spend the majority of their lives on horses:
- Moose tick (sometimes called the winter tick). The Dermacentor albipictus is a deadly tick for larger animals. In 2017, researchers in New Hampshire determined that the moose tick was responsible for widespread moose calf deaths. According to one estimate, nearly three-fourths of all moose calves died from moose tick infestations.
- Tropical horse tick (Dermacentor nitens). This tenacious tick species infects horses and other large animals in the Southern U.S., along with Central and South America.
These are the two most common horse ticks. Others include Amblyomma, Boophilus (tropical regions), Haemaphysalis (worldwide distribution), Hyalomma (Asian and European regions), and Ixodes (worldwide distribution).
Ticks are harmful to horses in three primary ways:
- Tick-borne diseases. The same tick-borne diseases that afflict dogs and cats also affect equines. These diseases and disorders include Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis (pasture fever), Piroplasmosis, and many others.
- Toxins. Some ticks (the Ixodes, for instance) introduce a harmful array of substances that a typical horse immune system cannot fight. This “poisoning” process (called toxemia) is responsible for many horse fatalities all across the globe.
- Blood loss due to tick bites. If a horse has contracted large numbers of ticks, and the infestation is undetected, severe blood loss (anemia) can result in poor health or in some cases, death.
Tick Prevention & Pasture Management Methods
To limit the presence of ticks around your horses, effective pasture management methods are encouraged. These include:
- Remove excess brush around the pasture area.
- Mow excess grassy areas.
- Use fencing to contain horses in well-manicured areas.
- Remove scrub vegetation.
- Keep wildlife away from your barn. Deer are notorious for transferring ticks to horses.
- Destroy tick-friendly habitats (these include moist, shady areas, leaf litter, and high grasslands).
- Introduce fowl to your barnyard. Chickens are known as effective tick eaters, along with guinea hens. Plus, you’ll enjoy fresh eggs!
- Use insecticide sprays, if necessary. Ensure any sprays are not dangerous to animal health.
These, in addition to other measures, will assist you in keeping tick populations lower, while also promoting a healthier and safer environment for your beloved animals. You will enjoy added peace of mind – year round! It is important to note that not every pasture management plan is foolproof. The most determined ticks will find a way to penetrate your outer defenses. In the event you need to remove a tick from your horse, it helps to have the #1 tick removal tool on hand. Keep the TickZapper® handy! Self-energizing (no batteries – always ready) TickZapper® is an indispensable tool to keep in your pocket, near barns and pastures, in transport vehicles, and other places frequented by horses.
A smart tick prevention strategy will benefit all of your animals, including horses. Veterinarians, animal lovers, pet owners, and others use the TickZapper® as a way to remove ticks immediately to prevent transmission of potential tick-borne diseases. Regardless of whether your animals are indoor or outdoor pets, always be ready for quick and complete tick removal by keeping your TickZapper® close by!
Thanks for reading our blog. To purchase a TickZapper®, please visit our product page. Patented technology, unmatched convenience, a thirty-day money back guarantee, and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, ensure that you have a worry-free buying experience. Get your TickZapper® today!