Ticks are blood-sucking parasites which feed on both humans and animals. They’re in full force during the warmer months, with numbers peaking between late spring and autumn. These little critters aren’t just unpleasant – they can also be potentially dangerous.
The dangers of tick bites
Ticks carry Lyme Disease (Borreliosis) and they can pass this on to both pets and their human companions.
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection which can cause symptoms in your pets like:
- A rash
- raised temperature
- lack of energy
- lameness, due to swollen joints
- swollen lymph nodes (glands in the neck and around the body).
Lyme Disease is still fairly rare in the UK but cases are on the rise so it’s important to keep a close eye on your pet.
Preventing ticks on your pets
- Some flea treatments also kill ticks – speak to your vet about the right treatment for your pet.
- Ticks are more common in wooded and moorland areas, especially in long grass. If ticks are a problem where you live, try to avoid walking your dog in these areas and stick to paths.
- Regularly check your dog or cat for ticks. The most common place to find ticks on pets are the head, ears, legs and underside.
- Hedgehogs and foxes are common tick carriers, meaning pets in urban areas with high fox populations are also at risk.