Ticks are blood sucking parasites that attach to your pet and can transmit infectious diseases. You are most likely to find them in spring and autumn but they are active throughout the year.
Ticks are found in grassland and woodland, and are big enough to see with the naked eye. They are often white with an egg shaped body, but can be darker in colour after a blood meal.
The most common diseases ticks transmit in the UK are Lyme disease and Babesiosis.
Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection which can cause inappetence, lethargy, fever, lameness, swollen/painful joints and swollen lymph nodes. Once diagnosed, the treatment often consists of 4 weeks of antibiotics and supportive care. Humans can also get this disease from ticks.
Babesia is rare in the UK, but the species of tick that spreads this disease has been found in southern England and on the continent. It infects the red blood cells and causes the body to destroy them. It can present as depression, pale or yellow gums, swollen abdomen and fever. It can take a long time for the disease to present itself following infection by a tick, months to years even.
If you find a tick on your pet, it should be removed to lessen the risk of disease, but this must be done carefully as to not leave the mouth parts behind. Twisting is the best method, and you can find handy tick removers which aid this.
We also have many products to prevent and treat ticks, these include spot on treatments, tablets and collars and each product works for varying amounts of time. Please ask for more information about which product will suit your pet.