These creepy crawlies can cause Lyme disease and other nasty illnesses
With tick season underway, dog owners are being warned to check their four-legged friends for ticks or face the risk of serious illness.
Ticks are blood sucking, brown, egg shaped creepy crawlies and with the insects more prevalent in the warmer weather, the experts at Years.com are urging dog lovers to take precautions to keep their dog well.
Ticks pass infection from one animal to another and if left untreated can lead to illnesses including Lyme disease, babesiosis which is extremely rare and tick-borne encephalitis.
Now owners are being urged to treat and remove ticks as soon as they spot signs of discomfort in their dog.
Darren Beale from Years.com said: “Tick season is now well underway. These nasty creepy crawlies are most active during the warmer months and love the places our dogs enjoy walks. Favourite haunts are woodlands, areas with long grass and places with farm animals and wildlife.
“Keeping your dog tick free can be tricky but it’s not impossible. Owners can use tick prevention treatments but the most important step they can take is to check their pet after taking them out.
“If you do find a tick, remove it straight away and if you have any more concerns consult a vet.”
Here are Years.com’s tips for keeping your dog tick free:
Check your Westie
Try checking your dog after every walk and you may find the ticks before they start to attach. Run your hands over your dog’s body to check for them – it will feel like a small bump under the skin. They tend to attach themselves to the head, neck, ears, and feet so pay particular attention to these areas.
Avoid tick hotspots
Areas with long grass are best avoided during the warmer months. Instead keep to paths and wide-open spaces where your dog can run freely. If you’re lucky enough to live by the beach, head there instead. Just check your pet is allowed on the beach during the summer season.
Use tick prevention to reduce the risk of your pet becoming infected.
If you do find a tick, remove it straight away. Never pull out a tick – their mouthpieces are burning in the skin. Pulling it off can leave these parts within the surface or the skin. Instead use a tick hook. Slide it between the tick and your dog to trap it, then gently rotate until the tick comes loose.
If you’re worried you haven’t removed all the tick or your dog becomes unwell, contact your vet. Look out for redness, swelling or signs of infection.