All About Ticks, Prevention, Removal and Lyme Disease.
Ticks can be quite difficult to spot on your pet until they get quite big, which is why it’s important to check them regularly. It’s best to remove ticks as soon as possible after they latch onto the skin.
When they first attach, a tick maybe the size of a small pinhead but, as they suck blood, they can grow to the size of a match head and may look like a bluish-grey, pink or purple lump.
They look like little skin lumps but if you look closer, you should be able to see their legs. After they’ve been feeding, they can grow to around 1cm.
Ticks that are removed quickly and correctly, don’t usually cause problems, but if their head/mouthparts are left behind after removal, an infection can sometimes develop.
Some ticks can carry nasty diseases and transmit such as Lyme Disease.
Preventing ticks is straightforward - there are lots of products that repel and kill them. Having a routine flea and tick protection plan in place is vital.
Ticks are most common in long grass, woodland and moorland areas. They are also common in areas with lots of wildlife and farm animals because they can live on animals, such as sheep, foxes, hedgehogs and wild rabbits. Ticks are most common when the weather is warm (between spring and autumn)
The good news is we can prevent our pets from getting ticks, nothing gives a 100% guarantee, but we can reduce the risks.
Some flea treatments include cover for ticks, note not all do, so do check.
Ooddles Kitchen – stock a spot-on product that covers for fleas and ticks. You can order with ease at our shop, or put on auto-repeat so you never forget. Order Here
You can also order your Tick Removal Tool by Ercol Here £2.95
How to remove a tick
Ticks should be removed as soon as possible. Never remove a tick by pulling, crushing or squeezing - they have a large body and a small head which attaches to the skin, if you pull the tick you are likely to leave the head behind which can cause an infection.
Always use a Tick Tool or go to your vets for removal.
Slide a tick twisting tool under the tick, as close to the skin as possible. You can find many videos to show you how to use a tick tool.
Make sure the tick is held firmly inside the hook. Use a smaller hook if it feels loose.
Twist the tool two to three times in one direction until you feel the tick loosen from your pet. DO NOT PULL THE TICK - it will let go when you twist.
Slowly lift the tool away when you feel the tick loosen, it should stay trapped in the hook.
After removing the tick, clean the area and monitor your pet for any signs of illness. If you’re unsure about removing the tick yourself, contact your vet for help.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection and can make your pet lethargic, give them swollen joints and other symptoms. You should always contact your vet if your dog is showing these symptoms or you are concerned.
Lyme disease (also known as Borreliosis) is an illness spread by infected ticks. It can affect dogs, people, horses and very occasionally, cats. Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria (Borrelia) that attacks tissues around the body, most commonly the joints, but also organs such as the kidneys. Lyme disease spreads when an infected tick attaches and feeds, so keeping your pet up to date with a product that kills or repels ticks is the best way to prevent
Each dog with Lyme disease will have slightly different symptoms depending on which parts of the body it attacks. Most commonly, it affects the joints, but it can also affect other organs such as the kidneys. In some dogs, symptoms come and go.
Treatment for your dog will depend on the signs they are showing. Mild cases can often be successfully treated with antibiotics but severe cases often require other treatment. Treating Lyme disease can take several weeks and sadly, for the worst affected dogs, treatment isn’t always successful.
Outlook for Lyme disease is good as long as symptoms aren’t too severe, and treatment is given quickly. Unfortunately, the outlook is much worse for dogs with severe symptoms or complications such as kidney failure.
Always contact your vet as soon as possible if you have any concerns.
The kit you need.
Ercol Tick Removal Tool £2.95. Order Here
Flea & Tick Preventive Spot On Order Here