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Tick season

Did you know that ticks are on the increase and that they are now finding their way in to more urban gardens.

Tick infestations are usually seasonal in the UK between March and June, and again from August to November, but there is still a risk of picking them up all year round.

Surprisingly ticks are part of the spider family and we have 20 different species in the UK although most only like to feed on a specific animal, there are some that will suck blood from wherever they can get it.

So it’s important to check both yourself and your dog for ticks regularly.

Ticks carry a nasty bacteria that causes Lyme disease, this is particularly serious, as left untreated it can cause system failures in the body.

Common signs of Lyme disease include:

  • Limping, stiffness and swollen joints that shifts between legs.

  • Fever (high temperature)

  • Low energy (lethargy)

  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands) around the body.

  • Vomiting.

  • Diarrhoea.

  • Drinking and weeing more.

Treatment:

Doxycycline is the most common antibiotic that is prescribed for Lyme disease, but others are also available and effective. The recommended treatment length is usually four to six weeks, but longer courses may be necessary in some cases. Your dog may also be given an anti-inflammatory (pain reliever) if your dog is especially uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, antibiotic treatment does not always completely eliminate the infection. Symptoms may resolve but then return at a later date, and the development of kidney disease in the future is always a worry.

Prevention:

If possible, avoid allowing your dog to roam in tick-infested environments where Lyme disease is common. It is important to check your dog’s coat and skin daily and remove ticks by hand using the correct tools for that purpose. Owners can also use variety of sprays, collars, and spot-on topical products that kill and repel ticks if they wish.

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