What time of year do ticks appear?
As the weather warms up and we start to return to the countryside for walks with our dogs, something else is beginning to stir in the undergrowth. Ticks require warmth and humidity to be active, the combination of which makes them most troublesome in the spring and autumn.
How does my dog get ticks?
Ticks spend most of their lifecycle living in dense undergrowth. They particularly like areas of bracken. Vibrations, warmth and carbon dioxide on the exhaled breath of a passing dog stimulate them into extremes of excitement,
waving their clawed legs about until they make contact with a furry coat.
Depending on the
type of tick they will do this three to five times in their lifetime.
Having secured their host, they insert their needle-like, serrated mouthparts through the skin and into a blood vessel. The
tick will then proceed to fill itself with blood. During their feeding process, bacteria and viruses, which may be present
in the tick’s body, can be transferred into the blood stream of the animal or human. The chance of infection increases
the longer the tick is attached to the dog.
Are Ticks harmful to my Dog?
Apart from being disgusting to look at, ticks, although not actually hurting your pet whilst attached, may transmit unpleasant diseases whilst taking their blood meal. One of the most dangerous diseases ticks can carry is Lyme Disease. Although not every tick will carry Lyme Disease,
about 15% of ticks are thought to and can transfer it on to pets and people.
(Borrelia bacteria) is a very serious disease, and treatment should be sort immediately if infection is
suspected. In dogs, the dominant clinical feature is recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. There may also be a lack
of appetite and depression
. More serious complications include damage to the kidney
, and rarely heart or nervous system disease
you think your dog may have contracted Lyme Disease from a tick, you should take it to the vet as soon as possible.
, a pink or red circular rash develops around the area of the bite, three to 30 days after someone
is bitten. The rash is often described as looking like a bull’s-eye on a dart board. Symptoms are very like those of
flu, and so can be difficult to diagnose. Early treatment with antibiotics is essential if a serious condition is to
How can I stop my dog getting ticks?
As so often is the case, prevention is better than cure. Regular treatment of your pet with a medicine authorised to kill ticks is a must, especially if you live in an area prone to tick infestations. Beaphar FIPROtec kills ticks for up to 4 weeks. Additionally, Beaphar Tick Away is a great product to have in every dog walkers pocket - it's a hady pocket-sized spray that freezes the tick, killing it and making it easy to remove, allowing you to remove it quickly, before it can do any harm to your dog.