Tick pest control off your to do list

Throughout spring and early summer ticks are most active and can carry potentially fatal diseases.

Recent research found an alarming lack of awareness among dog owners about ticks and Lyme disease.

Forty-seven per cent of dog owners surveyed didn’t know that ticks can transmit diseases to both dogs and humans, while over half (54 per cent) of dog owners didn’t know that Lyme disease affects both dogs and humans.

Here at Alnorthumbria Vets we are continuing to take part in the Big Tick Project.

It is the largest nationwide collection of ticks from dogs in a bid to help scientists, led by Professor Richard Wall at the University of Bristol, to track what is feared to be a growing threat to people and their dogs from tick-borne zoonotic diseases, such as Lyme disease (Borrelia).

In the UK, Public Health England estimates the number of new cases each year at about 3,000, while Lyme disease charities say the figure could even be as high as 15,000 annually.

However, the majority of people are unaware that this potentially debilitating condition can also affect our dogs.

There are preventive medicines available via all of our surgeries.

Our most popular is Bravecto, a chewable tablet for dogs that gives 12-week protection against fleas and ticks. We have had good results across the practice.

If you suspect your dog’s flea and tick protection has lapsed, call any of our branches and pick up the appropriate treatment to make sure your dog is protected over the high risk summer months.

Our nurse clinics can also help for those unsure about removing ticks.

It’s really important to make sure ticks are removed correctly and with the correct tools.

Tick removers are readily available in pet shops and also stocked at some of our surgeries.

This summer make sure you take an extra five minutes a day to check your dogs over after walks to make sure there are no critters hiding anywhere they shouldn’t be.

It’s also a very good opportunity to check for grass seeds between toes and in the long hair of dogs.

Grass seeds can be a problem if not brushed out so make sure you keep a closer watch.

Alnorthumbria Vets is a mixed practice that treats all species of domestic animals.