Seasonal problems: TICKS
and cats. They have a complicated life cycle that involves them
attaching to a warm blooded host to feed.
They attach firmly to the skin, then feed by sucking blood from
the host, causing the ticks body to swell.
Not only are ticks unpleasant for the owner and irritating for the
animal, but they can spread several conditions via the bloodstream.
important tick-borne diseases are much more common.
So when travelling abroad it is necessary to treat for ticks regularly.
It used to be a requirement of the Pets passport scheme that animals were treated for ticks under the supervision of a veterinary surgeon before they returned to this country. This is no longer mandatory. However, we would still recommend that they were treated for the benefit of their own health.
At the surgery we commonly encounter dogs with single sheep
ticks. These may have been picked up when on holiday in Wales
or the Lake District, or even when walking near Poynton Pool or
in Lyme Park.
Inquisitive cats often come in with many ticks around their head.
These can come from hedgehogs or birds, both of which often
carry many ticks.
Recently, we were presented with a dog that had been stuck in
a rabbit hole and had over 200 ticks over all its body.
Some of the standard flea treatments (fipronil based) are effective against ticks, although they need to be given more often than when treating against fleas.
There are spot-on preparations that have been developed specifically against ticks that will also treat fleas. They work more quickly than fipronil. We recommend these products of your dog is travelling abroad or to areas in this country where they are at greater risk of being in contact with ticks.
Please telephone the surgery for advice on the best method of prevention or how to deal with a tick.