Pet care advice about Ticks
Several species of ticks affect dogs in the UK, though they are more prevalent in certain geographical locations. The majority of ticks that we see on dogs are sheep ticks in rural areas or hedgehog ticks often from hedgehogs in the garden. We will also occasionally see cats with ticks. You will not catch a tick from your pet but you can become dinner for a tick yourself if you walk in areas where ticks are present.
Ticks are often first noticed as small, greyish swelling firmly attached to the animal. They are often mistaken for skin tags and warts. The mouth parts of the tick will be firmly embedded in the flesh of the animal, as it is taking a blood meal. Once the tick has fed fully it will drop off.
It is important never just to pull a live tick from the animal as the mouth parts can be left behind and may act as a focus for infection.
There are tick removing devices available, that ensure the mouth parts of the tick are removed when used correctly.
There are products available that reduce the likelihood of your pet contracting ticks available at the surgery.
Ticks can transmit disease to your pet e.g. Lyme disease which can cause swelling of the joints and kidney problems. Lyme disease is a problem in some parts of the UK but doesn't appear to be prevalent in Derbyshire. There are other tick-borne diseases present in Europe that we have not encountered in the UK before, but with the introduction of the pet passport scheme we could see them more frequently, although all dogs and cats re-entering the country have to be treated with appropriate drugs before their return.