Ticks or Mass?
Spring has come at last and with the sun out and the longer days, we all love to take our pets out to enjoy the sunshine and explore new places. Ticks are a common parasite in our countryside, with many species around the world. Apart from the discomfort and irritation they cause when biting, they also transmit disease to both humans and our pets. The main concern in the UK is Lyme disease, but with the increase in travelling animals last year we encountered Babesia canis in parts of the UK which has come across from Europe through infected ticks. We are constantly facing an increased threat of new diseases in both medicine and veterinary, so prevention and being vigilant is very important to prevent illness in our pets.
The transmission of most disease occurs at least 24-48 hours after attachment and so regular inspection after walks and prompt removal is important.
We get a lot of clients unsure whether their pet has a tick, as they are easily mistaken for masses, but unlike a mass they should be easily removed. When removing ticks, it is important to twist and pull rather than squeeze the tick, in order to prevent regurgitation of stomach contents which can transmit disease. Tick hooks are the best thing for this. We have these in stock at our practices and can show you how to use them if you are unsure.
As well as removal, preventative treatment for ticks to repel and kill the parasite is a useful tool, especially for travelling pets. Our Larkmead Lifetime Care Club is an option to help spread the cost of preventative health care and save money on vaccinations and parasite control and has plenty of treatment options. Please feel free to call in to one of our practices for further advice.