The number of ticks in the UK is growing rapidly. To help minimise the risk to your dog we would recommend the following:
**Get into the habit of checking your dog for ticks on returning from woodland or grassland walks.
**Regular grooming is recommend as this will help you spot any ticks that may have locked on to your dog in more hidden spots
**Treat your dog regularly with tick preventative to help minimise the risk of ticks attaching
**Remove the tick with care** If you do find a tick it is important to remove and dispose of it with care. We always recommend using a proper tick remover (the tick twister is the most effective tool). Do not try to burn off, smother, cut off or pull off with tweezers as this can increase the risk of the head staying in the skin which can increase the chance of infection or disease spreading.
It may seem like this message is overkill but, aside from ticks just being nasty little critters, they can pose a serious health threat to you and your dog. Lyme disease can be spread via ticks.
Symptoms of Lyme disease can include lameness, lethargy and fever and if they are left untreated your dog can develop kidney disease and heart failure. If you are at all worried please do contact your vet asap.
At the shop we stock the fantastically handy tick twisters and natural remedies which can be useful for helping to deter ticks from attaching to your dog. There are also chemical treatments which are available via your Vet (or online specialists) too. If you need help identifying or removing a tick don't be afraid to ask your Vet for advice and we are always on hand with tick twisters at the shop too.
The Big Tick Project has also been launched and this aims to raise awareness of the risks and symptoms associated with tick-borne disease, and to educate owners about how they can reduce their dog’s exposure to ticks and the diseases they carry.
As part of the project Vets across the UK are submitting the largest nationwide collection of ticks from dogs in a bid to help scientists, led by Professor Richard Wall at the University of Bristol, track what is feared to be a growing threat to people and their dogs from tick-borne diseases. We will be watching the progress of this project with great interest and will make sure we also update on our website.