Most of us know that ticks are small parasites that feed on the blood of mammals but did you know they carry a whole host of dangerous diseases that can be transmitted to other pets and humans. It’s now that time of year to get your tick bite prevention sorted.
As soon as the temperature hits 4C ticks are active and looking for something to feed on.
Ticks are commonly found in wooded or grassy areas where they attach themselves to passing animals or humans. They have specialised mouthparts that allow them to embed themselves firmly in the skin of their host and feed on blood for several days or even weeks. While feeding, ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis.
Check your dog for ticks by giving them a close examination, looking and feeling for any unusual lumps and bumps. Around the head, neck and ears are common ‘hot spots’ for ticks, so this is a good place to start but as ticks can attach anywhere on the body a full search is important.
You may see swelling around the tick, but often the skin around looks normal. If you do find a tick, don’t be tempted to just pull it off. Tick mouthpieces are buried in the skin, and pulling off a tick can leave these parts within the skin surface, leading to infections.
There are many tick solutions readily available in the form of a collar, spot-ons or tablets. …remember prevention is better than cure.