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Ticks 

Ticks cause direct problems for our pets by their physical presence, local irritation and local infections. Worse still, all life stages of ticks can carry diseases that can cause serious health problems both for pets and humans.

Several types of ticks are commonly found on dogs and cats in the UK. The sheep tick, Ixodes Ricinus, is also known as the deer tick and infests not only pets, but also humans and other animals. Cats and dogs may also pick up hedgehog ticks, Ixodes Hexagonus, and British dog ticks, Ixodes CanisugaRhipicephalus spp and Dermacentor spp are other possibilities.

Unengorged Dermacentor Tick

Pets are likely to be exposed to ticks in areas of heathland, moorland or woodland, but often pick up ticks in your own garden, in urban parks and from kennels or burrows.

A tick's life cycle can take several years, the species found in the UK are all 'three host' ticks with life cycles between 2 and 6 years. Each developmental stage of a tick's life requires a blood meal in order to reach the next stage.

In the UK, most of the diseases are uncommon in dogs and cats, but due to their serious potentially life-threatening nature, they are very important when they occur.

The most common endemic tick-borne disease in the UK is Borrelia Burgdorferi which is Lyme disease. This is a bacterial disease transmitted by ticks from sheep and deer and causes fever, lameness, loss of appetite and general malaise. It is often treatable with antibiotics. It is rare in the area that surrounds our practices and to date we have not diagnosed a case. This is a disease that can be transferred to humans.

There are a number of potentially fatal tick-borne diseases in Europe and when travelling with your pets to these destinations, appropriate treatment with Frontline Combo on a monthly basis must be undertaken.

Other appropriate measure to limit the potential transmission of disease to your pet is to carefully remove ticks within 48 hours of attachment. This means that a thorough daily examination must be carried out. We use and sell an appropriate tick removal device at our surgeries.

Engorged Dermacentor tick

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