To highlight Tick Bite Prevention Week 2020 (24th-30th March), we have decided to write you an informative article on how you keep your dog safe and what to do if you find a tick.
Ticks are parasites that live by feeding on the blood of mammals and birds.
They can cause disease by transmitting bacteria when they bite. Ticks can carry Lyme disease and they can pass it on to both you and your dog. They are common in woods, moorland and grassland areas. They don’t fly, they either climb or fall onto your dog’s coat when they brush past where the tick was sitting.
Ticks can be the size of a couple of millimetres up to 1 centimetre. We need to be particularly cautious between Spring and Autumn.
Prevention and spotting whether your dog has been bitten
Some flea treatments can kill or repel ticks. Talk to your vet about what they suggest.
Try and prevent ticks by checking your dog and yourself after each walk. Run your hands along your dog’s whole body. Can you feel any small bumps?
If you come across a tick on carpets, bedding or floor, you or your dog will probably have been bitten. Have you noticed your dog excessively licking or nipping a bite site? Are there any unexplained scabs?
Dogs can have a loss of appetite and a mild/high fever.
Removing the ticks
Using a pair of tweezers is effective at removing ticks. Spread the dog’s fur, then grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull straight up. By doing this you are preventing the tick’s mouth from breaking off and staying in the skin. Be careful not to squeeze the tick.
Another option is to buy a tick remover, which you can buy from your local pet shop. There will be instruction on how to use it on the packaging.
Make sure to clean the bite site.
If your dog has been bitten and you are concerned about them then please ask your vets advise.