01 January 2007

One big sucker

The tick attached to Marissa-Cat's neck right below her mouth. Her nose is at the top.

I felt this tick on the neck of one my cats this morning. My wife and I made several attempts throughout the day to remove it without success. It was deeply embedded and the 4-legged victim, Marissa-Cat, who doesn't hesitate to bite the hand that feeds her if the same hand is attempting a painful or annoying operation on her, wasn't exactly cooperative.

Finally, I succeeded late in the afternoon when she was dozing off on the sofa. Sleepy cats are always easier to handle for about 3 seconds.

The marks on the tick's abdomen were left by the tweezers. The ruler is in millimeters.

The subsequent examination of the 8-legged victim, who got ruptured* during the removal process, revealed that it had left its mouth parts behind probably still in Marissa-Cat's skin. We will be keeping an eye on her neck.

*I was expecting the tick's contents to be redder. Their metabolism must process hemoglobin quickly.


Nuthatch said...

That's what she gets for preying on leaves!

What kind of camera/microscope set up do you have? I'm trying to figure out the least expensive way to attach one of my digicams to my dissecting microscope.


I photographed the tick directly with the camera + 35 mm macro lens (no scope). When I need a higher magnification I add a 25 mm extension tube.

The least expensive way to attach a camera to a microscope is to attach the camera to a tripod & then to position it above the eyepiece. But getting a proper alignment is time consuming. That's why I avoid using the scope unless I need a really high mag.

Nuthatch said...

Well, getting an extension tube and/or better macro lens is a good solution! I sometimes want or need to photograph damselfly genitalia. Small, but not much smaller (and often larger) than a tick.

Marcus said...

ewww! you smacked the tick too hard!

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't have squeezed the tick this way. It might have regurgitated all its bacteria and disease-laden liquids onto your feline during the forceful extraction process.

Anonymous said...

i know this feed was a while ago, but I just. Norton (my cat) never show any symptoms that I read online while he had the tick on him, but i just removed it now (22Nov11, 1128pm), so I'm hoping that I got it on time. Was your cat ok after? Should I just make sure to watch him? I think I got the whole thing out, but it made a loud "pop" noise when I removed it, but when I looked at the kleenex after, the thing was still alive, so I think I missed any more poison going into Norton.

Please let me know.