Ticks are very small insects (or Arachnids ie same family as spiders!) that are often found in very grassy or woodland areas.
They start off quite small, but as they feed on their host they can grow to quite a dramatic size!
Ticks are most active in the Summer and Autumn months, but as the UK has rather variable weather, we are seeing a lot of ticks outside of the usual times.
If you see a tick on your pet, please do get in touch. Please don’t try and pull the tick off, as this can sometimes leave the mouth parts behind causing local infection and inflammation.
Also, trying to remove the tick by poking it or smothering it in vaseline can sometimes cause the tick to regurgitate its blood meal back into your pet, thereby spreading any diseases it might be carrying.
It is important to check your pets thoroughly after a walk, especially if taking dogs out to woodland areas. Ticks can hide in between toes where they can be very painful and cause discomfort.
We have a range of tick treatments available, so if you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch!
What is Babesiosis?
Babesiosis in dogs is an infection caused by the single celled parasite called Babesia.
The parasite infects dogs red blood cells which then damages the cells and also causes the bodies own immune system to attack the red blood cells.
This then leads to a severe anaemia which can be life threatening, but can be treatable.
How can my dog contract Babesiosis?
The main way Babesiosis is transmitted to dogs is through tick bites. When an infected tick attaches and starts to feed on a dogs blood a transfer of the parasite occurs. This usually takes place 24 – 48 hours after the tick has attached.
Until recently species of tick found in the UK were very unlikely to carry Babesia, however, with the increase in animal movements throughout Europe the risks of European species of ticks (which carry the disease) entering the UK have increased.
How can it be prevented?
Prevention is based on the regular use of anti-tick products. There are various products on the market and different products will be suitable for different dogs.
Dogs should be checked regularly for ticks, especially after walks. If you see a tick on your dog it should ONLY be removed using a special tick hook.
Our nurses are available to remove any ticks if required as we have a free tick removal service at Allpets this summer!
If you do remove a tick on your pet please bring the tick into our surgery so that we can send it away for analysis to identify the type of tick.
At the present time there have only been an isolated number of cases of Babesia in dogs who have all been exercised in the same area in Essex. As yet, no other cases have been identified from any other area. If any further information is released we will keep our clients updated.
If you require any advice on the types of products to use please contact our surgery and speak to one of our consulting nurses.
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