It's that time of year when the air is still warm the soil is moist and the grass is long.... all a perfect recipe for ticks and a perfect disaster awaiting your pet!
To protect your pets, we are offering 10% off our favourite tick-prevention products Vectra 3D and Seresto for September only. Ask in branch to take advantage of this offer!
Vectra 3D is a spot-on for dogs which protects not only against ticks but fleas and flies too. Seresto is a collar which can provide protection for up to 8 months from fleas and ticks. Seresto is suitable for both dogs and cats.
But...What exactly ARE ticks?
Ticks are spider-like, egg-shaped, blood-sucking creepy crawlies. They have eight legs and vary in size from about 1mm to 1cm long. Adult ticks look a bit like small spiders. Ticks are common in woodland, grassland and heath areas, but can also be found in your garden if you live in an area with lots of wildlife. They don’t fly or jump, but climb or drop on to your dog’s coat when you brush past the area they are sitting in.
Why should I protect my dog or cat against ticks?
Ticks are very good at passing on infections from one animal to another. They feed by biting an animal and feasting on blood. This may take several days. Once they have had enough, they drop off. Ticks transmit microbes that cause diseases, such as Lyme disease and babesiosis.
Check your dog or cat's body for ticks when you come back from a walk or in from the garden. Brushing their fur will also help. If you live in an area with ticks, it’s a good idea to use a tick treatment that will either repel ticks or kill them if they attach. Spot on treatments, tablets and collars are available and it’s best to consult your vet about which is most suitable for your pet. Read the instructions very carefully as some treatments are for dogs only and can be very dangerous to cats and can even kill them.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection. If your dog has Lyme disease, you may notice they become depressed and lose their appetite. Other symptoms include fever, lameness, swollen and painful joints, and swollen lymph nodes. If you think your pet has Lyme disease, contact your vet. They can perform tests and start treatment with antibiotics.
What is babesiosis?
Babesiosis is extremely rare in the UK and the tick that spreads it is so far only found in southern England and on the continent. The first cases of dogs being treated for the disease, caused by the bacterium Babesia, were reported in March 2016. Babesiosis can be spread by tick bites. The incubation period is about two weeks, but some pets are not diagnosed with the disease for months or years after transmission. If your dog is suffering from babesiosis you may notice they are depressed, have pale gums, a swollen abdomen and a fever. They may also lose their appetite and their skin may become yellowish. If you notice any of these symptoms after walking your dog in a tick-infested area, contact your vet and make sure to tell them your dog may have been bitten by a tick.
To find out how tick-risky your area is you can check the interactive 'Tick Threat' map at http://www.bigtickproject.co.uk/ticks-in-the-uk/uk-tick-threat-map/