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cheltonian pets TICKING OVER


Pegasus HouseVetswarns readers about the dangers of ticks in their pets


June has arrived and the sun has been shining. Here at Pegasus House Vetswe have been loving the sunshine but nowanother important issue is at the front of our minds; with theweather gettingwarmer it’s time to start thinking about protecting our dogs (and cats) against ticks. Yep, it is BIG TICKMONTH.Ticks


are parasites that can bite and attach themselves to both animals and humans and help spread dangerous infectious disease. There is a particular risk if you are travelling abroad with your pet, as ticks in Europe carry high levels of disease. In the UK tick borne disease is still rare, but it is increasing in frequency. Conditions such as Lymedisease (borreliosis), Babesia and Ehrlichia are seen in dogs and people bitten by ticks. These are all serious conditions that can be fatal. Ticks are small grey or browncreatures and are visible to the naked eye. They growlarger the longer the time they are attached and feeding from an animal. It can be hard to spot them, especially in dogs with long, thick coats. In 2015 the University of Bristol launched the biggest ever tick research project in the UK, looking at over 7000dogs. Vets fromacross the country took part in cataloguing the ticks found. Almost 1 in 3 dogs that presented at participating vets during thesummermonths had ticks found on them. Therewas a 17% increase in areas where tickswere found compared to a comparable


head parts attached and run the risk of causing an irritation or infection under the skin. It is also important not to try to burn or freeze a tick off, or squeeze the tick’s body while trying to remove it. This can be fiddly and difficult, so it is always easier to use a


study performed 10 years ago. 73% of areas sampled had an increase in tick numbers found compared to previous studies. Both Cheltenham and its surrounding areas are consideredmediumto high risk for ticks. For this reason,we recommendensuring your pet is protected against ticks during the summermonths. Ticks are usually found in long


grass and likewarm,wet conditions. Themostcommontick in the UK is Ixodes Ricinus, and in the survey this was present on89%of infected dogs. Recently however, other species of ticks such as Rhipicephalus sanguineus have been found on dogs. This specieswas originally found only in Europe, but it is theorised that our changingweather patterns, withwarmer andwetter winters, have been allowing it to survive here also. When ticks bite into animals and humans they screwtheir head parts in to attach and feed. This means if you try to remove them without the proper technique you will leave the


product to prevent ticks frombiting rather than having toworry about removing them! There are several methods to


prevent ticks frombecoming a problem. The simplest is often to purchase a Seresto collar, which will give protection for 7-8months - usually covering the time ticks are active. If your pet will notwear a collar, there is also an effective oral tablet treatment (Bravecto) or a spot-on (Advantix) that can be used. If you areworried about ticks and


would like someadvice, then book to comein to see one of our nurses. We will do a free check of your pet’s skin and if any ticks are foundwe can showyou howto safely remove them, without leaving any head parts remaining. You can also purchase a Seresto collar with 15% off for the next 6weeks; it’s the perfect purchase to protect your furry friend through thesummermonths.


Formore help or advice please contact us on 01242 524935 or visit pegasushousevets.co.uk


THECHELTONIAN JUNE 2017 65


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