This week is tick prevention week.
What are ticks and why are they important to prevent?
Ticks are external parasites that live by biting and then feeding off of the blood of humans and animals. It is important to prevent tick bites in both humans and your pets as some can carry harmful bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) that can cause Lymes disease and other serious illnesses. Not all ticks carry these harmful bacteria but it is good practice to prevent the occurrence of ticks in the first place – just in case.
Bites from foreign ticks if your pet is taken on holiday can be particularly harmful.
What are the symptoms of Lymes disease?
Lymes disease is a serious bacterial infection that occurs in dogs, cats and humans. Although it is less common in cats.
Symptoms can include:
– Depression – Loss of appetite – Fever – Lameness – Swollen and painful joints – Swollen lymph nodes – Lethargy
Lymes disease can be treated with antibiotics so it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.
When are ticks most prevalent?
Tick infestations usually occur from Spring to early Summer (between March and June) and then again from late Summer throughout Autumn (between August and November)
Where are they found?
The preferred environments for ticks are in grassy and wooded areas right across the UK.
They are very common in areas with high numbers of sheep. Ticks carrying the bacteria that causes Lymes disease are more common in some parts of the UK than others.
How to prevent ticks
Consult your vet to ensure you use the right preventative tick-control product for your pet as they will identify the right product and quantity for your pets weight and age. Products come in oral medications, or topical treatments such as spot-on treatments, sprays or anti-tick collars.
At Station House Vets we recommend Bravecto (tablet or spot on) Nexguard Spectra (tablet) or Seresto (a collar) as tick prevention treatments – most of these products also prevent fleas too.