This week one of my dogs came home with a ride-along passenger – a tick. While the weather may not have been particularly spring-like this week, the temperatures have risen enough for these little critters to re-appear after the winter. Limpsfield and its surrounds is perfect for these creatures with its grassy commons and woodland areas.
While ticks can be about all year round, they are generally active from March to October. While most of the ticks we get around these parts are probably reasonably harmless, they can carry Lyme disease (which is very nasty for humans) and can cause nasty reactions, illness, swelling and scarring on your animals.
The best prevention is to make sure your animals are regularly (monthly) given ‘spot on’ treatments for fleas and ticks, so make sure your animals are up to date on their flea and tick treatment.
So make sure your pets are protected and check them every day after your walks. There are lots of does and don’ts with tick removal too – squeezing them to death while they’re in your dog can result in their saliva being projected into your dog’s tissue which can cause further irritation.
The best way is to use one of the handy little twisting gizmos available from your vet or pet stores, but failing that, apply some tweezers to the front (head) of the tick, twist and pull gently so as not to break the head off in your dog’s skin.
More information regarding ticks and your pets, have a look at the Bluecross site. https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/dogs-and-ticks
BADA UK raises awareness of Lyme disease (Borreliosis). Find out more information here: http://www.bada-uk.org/ticks-uk-ireland