Ticks aren’t just unpleasant, they are potentially very harmful – especially if they go unnoticed. So it’s important that pet owners know what to look for and what to do if a tick is found on a pet.
What Is A Tick?
Ticks are small, parasitic, spider-like creatures. They are very common, especially throughout the warmer months and they feed by latching onto a host’s skin in order to suck blood.
This becomes dangerous to pets and people because ticks can carry disease. They vary in colour and size and can easily be mistaken for a small skin lump but if you look closely, you should be able to see their legs.
How Do I Prevent My Pet From Getting Ticks?
There are a number of effective preventative treatments that either kill or repel the tick once they attach. Your vet can offer advice on the best treatment. As well as this, it’s advisable to make a habit of regularly checking over your pet.
Ticks are commonly found in woodland or moorland areas, especially in long grass. If ticks become a problem, it may be advisable to avoid walking your dog in these areas or try to stick to paths.
What Do I Do If I Find A Tick On My Pet?
Ticks can carry Lyme Disease (Borreliosis) and they can pass this on to both animals and humans, so it’s really important that ticks are removed from your pet as soon as possible.
Special tick tweezers are available but they need to be used carefully, according to the instructions. It is important that the whole tick is removed so don’t crush the tick’s body or try to burn it off! Using Vaseline can make the tick drop off but unless you see it happen, the tick could just reattach.
Once you have removed the tick from your cat or dog, cleanse the area and keep an eye out for symptoms of illness.
If you are in any doubt, speak to your vet. Our veterinary nurses are able to remove ticks as well as provide advice on preventative treatment. Don’t forget that our Pet Health Care Plan (Plus) includes tick treatment.
Has My Pet Got Lyme Disease From A Tick Bite?
Ticks are known to carry Lyme Disease. This is a bacterial infection that is still fairly rare in the UK but cases are on the rise. If your pet has been bitten by a tick, symptoms to watch out for include:
- A rash surrounding the area of the tick bite
- Raised temperature
- Lethargy or low energy
- Difficulty moving, due to swollen joints
- Swollen lymph nodes/glands in the neck and around the body
If you are concerned about the health of your pet or would like any further advice regarding ticks, please contact us.
St Kitts Veterinary Centre: 01252 844044
Basingstoke Veterinary Centre: 01256 844944
Crookham Park Veterinary Centre: 01252 913990
Firgrove Veterinary Centre: 01252 877799