Ticks are generally found in rural areas. They lie and wait in vegetation, and attach to dogs or cats as they brush past. Once attached to the animal, they pierce a hole in the skin and feed on blood. This can cause local irritation, and in young animals, a severe infestation may cause anaemia.
The highest risk associated with ticks are the diseases they can transmit. (Lyme disease in the UK and Ireland).
Diseases such as Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis, can be transmitted via ticks in foreign countries, therefore regular tick treatment for pets travelling abroad is important.
What can I do if my pet is affected?
Regularly examine and groom your pet. Ticks can be removed safely using a tick remover – it is not advisable to pull the tick off, as this can result in the mouth/head part of the tick remaining embedded in the skin, which can then cause further problems. Tick removers are available at any of our surgeries, or an appointment can be made for the vet to remove the tick from your pet.
Preventative treatment is available, which can repel or prevent the tick from attaching in the first place, or will kill any attached ticks. This comes in the form of spot-on treatments, which need to be re-applied every 4 weeks or a fitted collar lasting for up to 8 months.