The summer increases the problem of ticks.
Ticks are very tiny and therefore difficult to see. Once on the host, the tick will pierce the skin and attach itself and can stay there sucking blood. Their bite can cause a nasty local reaction.
They most commonly attach around the ears and between the toes of cats and dogs and after a few days can swell to the size of your fingernail!
Adult ‘ticks’ may live for up to 3 years during which time the female can lay between 2000 and 3000 eggs! ‘Ticks’ eggs take 2-7 weeks to hatch and it is the larvae and nymph phases that will attach and feed on hosts such as cats, dogs and even humans for anything from 3 - 12 days. While off the hosts, ‘ticks’ like to infest woodland and grassland areas covered with small bushes and shrubs.
Unfortunately, walking your dog in woodland and grassland areas is the ideal environment to find ticks.
Ticks can also carry and transmit Lyme Disease. This is a serious disease which can be transmitted to both dogs and humans. Symptoms of the disease include fatigue and flu through to long term arthritis and kidney failure.
Ticks are generally noticed after feeding, because their body swells considerably. After attaching they will detach and fall off within 48-72 hours, of their own accord. It is therefore important that your dog is protected by a tick treatment.
Do not try and pull the tick off as you will almost certainly leave the mouthparts in the skin and risk an abscess forming.
Preventative prescription only medications are effective against ticks. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise the most suitable one for your pet and your veterinary nurses will be able to show you how to correctly remove a tick using a purpose designed tick remover.
The veterinary nurses at your local clinic will be able to advise you on tick control and show you how to correctly move a tick.