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Ticks are unwelcome and dangerous parasites. It is estimated that around 15% of ticks carry Lyme Disease**, which can cause lifelong problems for both pets and people.
While we can’t always prevent ticks from attaching to our pets, we can learn how and when our pets are likely to pick up ticks. We can also make sure we treat our cats and dogs regularly with a veterinary medicine authorised to kill ticks. This helps reduce the chance of disease transmission by killing the tick quickly.
There are 23 different types of ticks in the UK (and over 800 worldwide), and it is highly likely your cat or dog will pick one up at some point during their life.
Ticks are active in warm, humid conditions, making them particularly troublesome in spring and autumn. They spend most of their lifecycle in the undergrowth, but will emerge on several occasions in search of a host in order to feed. This could be an animal or a person.
The most common tick pets and their owners are likely to encounter in the UK is the Sheep Tick (Ixodes ricinus).
* Ixodes ricinus
Both cats and dogs can pick up ticks while they are out exploring, on a walk or even in the garden. Vibrations, warmth and carbon dioxide from your pet will stimulate ticks to emerge and latch your pet. Once aboard, the tick will insert their needle-like, serrated mouthparts through the skin, and begin to feed on your pet.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can affect both animals and people. If caught early enough, Lyme disease can be treated successfully with few to no lasting effects. However, if left untreated it can cause serious health problems, including joint and muscle problems, and even kidney damage.
The most common sign of Lyme disease is what looks like a bullseye rash around the site of a tick bite. Other signs include fever, intermittent lameness, loss of appetite and weakness. In people, symptoms are often similar to the flu, so can be hard to spot.
If you or your pet has recently been bitten by a tick and you are concerned about Lyme disease, even if no symptoms are present, consult your doctor or vet for further advice.
To protect your pet you should use a veterinary medicine that kills ticks. This means that should a tick attach to your pet it will be killed quickly, reducing the risk of getting an infection such as Lyme disease.
Beaphar Canishield® is a deltamethrin collar that provides long-lasting, triple protection for dogs. Effective
against ticks for 6 months, fleas for 16 weeks and sandflies for 5.5 months, Beaphar Canishield® is
suitable for dogs from 7 weeks of age.
Beaphar FIPROtec® Spot-On is a vet strength medicine that is effective against ticks for up to four weeks. It is suitable for cats over 5 weeks of age and dogs over 8 weeks of age.
Also available is Beaphar FIPROtec® COMBO, which kills adult fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae and ticks. It is effective against ticks for up to four weeks, and is suitable for cats and dogs over 8 weeks of age.
Even with regular tick protection you should always check your pet for ticks, and this should be done throughout the year. Particularly in spring and autumn, and if your pet has been in long grass or high-risk area prone to ticks.
To check your pet for ticks, simply run your hands along your pet’s fur, applying enough pressure to feel small bumps. Pay particular attention between their toes, behind their ears, on their face and under their armpits. If you feel a raised bump, carefully part the fur to see if it is a tick.
Should you find a tick, an ideal product to have on hand is the Beaphar Tick Removal Kit. The kit includes:
· Beaphar Tick Away, a non-toxic spray that freezes ticks for easy removal, and our unique, patented tool
· The Beaphar TickBoy®, a v-shaped hook that exerts no pressure on the body or the tick, reducing the chance of regurgitation and disease transmission
The great thing about the Beaphar Tick Removal Kit is that is also ideal for use on people too. Watch our video to find out more about how to remove a tick using the Beaphar Tick Removal Kit.