They may be small but they bite and can cause real problems

Branch Deputy Donna was up in the Scottish Borders last Saturday walking 3 dogs. By the time they had got back to the car, all of the dogs had sheep/deer ticks (Ixodes Ricinus) on them…and more than a few!  Ticks are common parasites but this walk saw the dogs hosting more than normal.  The walk was through woodland and some rough grass/heather but really didn’t warrant the number of parasitiformes on the poor pooches. All the dogs have up to date parasite prevention but the sheer number was astonishing.

The pets were combed and bathed (as was our Deputy!) when they returned home.  They are common pests but it seems they are more prevalent this year.  They can also cause significant disease and illness to their host.

If you find a tick on your pet, remove it/them with the correct tool/technique.  You don’t want to leave the mouth parts/head in the animals skin. Also, make sure animals have a vet strength treatment to kill the blood sucking parasites should they bite. There’s lots of info on RSPCA England and Wales site. Although they don’t live permanently on their hosts they bite, feed then drop off, for something so tiny they are a real nuisance.

If your pet becomes ill after a walk eg lethargic, painful/swollen joints, lameness  or no appetite seek veterinary advice immediately.  Ticks will bite humans too and you can get Lyme disease (which has a distinctive bullseye rash) if bitten by an infected tick.




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