10% OFF SERESTO FLEA AND TICK COLLARS DURING SPRING 2019 (20% OFF FOR VIPS!)*
We have definitely seen more ticks over the past few years and spring is certainly the start of ‘tick season’.
Ticks belong to the spider family. They climb up vegetation, wait for a passing animal (or person!) and attach themselves to suck blood. Pets are likely to encounter ticks in fields, heathland or woodland, but they can be found in gardens too.
Ticks can cause local irritation and sometimes infections, but they can also carry diseases that cause serious health problems for both pets and humans. In the UK, tick borne diseases are thankfully uncommon but there are a couple that are potentially serious. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that causes symptoms including lameness, fever, loss of appetite and meningitis. It can often be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early enough.
Lyme disease is considered a zoonotic condition which means it is transmittable to humans.
Babesiosis is a rare disease which has only been seen in the UK relatively recently. However, the disease has sadly proved fatal in a some cases. It is carried by a certain species of tick, and is spread to dogs by tick bites. The parasite enters the bloodstream, and then the red blood cells, and in the process of trying to kill the parasite the dog will actually destroy its own blood cells.
It therefore causes a potentially fatal anaemia. Symptoms include a lack of appetite, weakness and lethargy, pale gums, enlarged abdomen, weight loss, red urine and jaundice. If left untreated it can be fatal and vets have needed to perform emergency blood transfusions to stop the disease. Fortunately, this rather nasty disease is still rare but is something we should still consider when deciding upon the best parasite control medication for our pets.
There are a number of different applications available but our product of choice is the Seresto flea and tick collar. This is, as the name would suggest, a collar which is fitted around March and provides up to 7-8 months protection and repellancy against ticks (ie pretty much the whole tick season) and kills fleas as well. Available in 2 sizes for dogs and one for cats, the odour free, water resistant collar is generally well tolerated, even in those cats who don’t usually like a collar! The cat collar has two proven safety mechanisms, a quick release and a break point.
In addition to using preventative treatments, you can reduce the likelihood of ticks attaching to your dog by avoiding tall grass or brush (tick breeding habitats) and examine your pet thoroughly for ticks after walks. Ticks are relatively easy to remove with the right technique and tick removing tool. We stock inexpensive tick removers here at the practice and can also demonstrate the correct way to remove them. Old fashioned techniques such as burning them off or smothering in Vaseline are NOT recommended as they stress the tick and make it vomit into your pet’s bloodstream! This increases the chances of disease transmission so please get a bespoke tick hook instead.
When travelling in Europe with your dog or cat, be aware that there are different species of tick which can transmit more serious and potentially fatal diseases to your pet. Tick prevention treatments are essential when travelling abroad.
OFFER—10% OFF SERESTO COLLARS ! (VIP members will receive an additional 10% OFF)
*Offer valid until 31st May 2019.
Call us on 01737 210011 to order a Seresto Collar.