Pet owners are being warned to be vigilant after an escalation in the number of cases of dogs being infected by ticks – which can lead to health complications and can be fatal.
The incidence of dogs contracting ticks has increased this summer say vets due to the suspected higher number of the parasites because of the wet and humid weather so far this summer.
Ticks can be uncomfortable for the pet and can lead to deadly tick-borne diseases including babesiosis and Lyme disease. This year, several dogs became seriously ill and one died after being infected by a tick borne disease.
Jessica Podmore DVM Cert SAS MRCVS at The Vet Nottingham, said: “We have definitely seen an increase in the number of dogs being brought here that have at least one tick.
“The rise of exotic diseases in the UK is a problem for domestic pets and pet owners should be increasingly vigilant as these tick-borne diseases could present serious health problems for our pets, and may even prove to be fatal.”
Jessica continued: “We’d therefore advise pet owners to be vigilant as well as to carry out regular tick treatments and checks.
“There are no vaccines available in the UK for babesiosis. Treatment is focused on killing the parasite and stopping the dog’s immune system from destroying more red blood cells. Currently, these diseases are not thought to pose a risk to cats.”
Jessica lists ways pet owners can prevent tick borne disease:
- Prevention is based on the routine use of flea and tick spot-on and / tick collars. Please ask your vet for a recommendation and correct dosage.
- Performing regular checks of your dog especially on returning from a walk
- Removing ticks from your dog’s fur. Ticks ideally should be removed by a nurse at your veterinary clinic, as it’s easy for the mouth parts of the tick to be left in which can then lead to further problems and infection. Tick removers are also sold at the clinic.