by Barbara Lowry
At last the warm weather is back with us again and we will all be looking forward to taking our pets to the beaches and woods for lots of walks in the sunshine. Now we need to ensure that when we come home from our days out with our pets, we don’t bring back any unwanted house guests. Picking up fleas when out and about is becoming less of a concern however in the North West we need to be on the look out for ticks.
Ticks are small arachnids, meaning they are related to spiders. They range in size from a small pinhead, when they attach to your pet, growing to the size of big pea, when they have fed. They live in grass and climb up to the top of a leaf and wait for a suitable host to pass.
When they are on the host they burrow their heads into the skin and feed of their blood until full. This can take between 10 mins and several hours depending on the type of tick. It is whilst attached that diseases can be passed from the tick to your pet.
It is important to check your pet for ticks on a regular basis. If you are unlucky enough to find a tick do not be tempted to try and remove it yourself unless you are confident. Also, do not be tempted to try and kill the tick whilst it is on your pet as you will likely injure your pet. It is very easy to break a tick when trying to remove it, which can leave the head in the skin and this will result in infection and discomfort to your pet.
You can buy a special Tick removing tool but it is best to get your vet to show you how to remove ticks first. Thankfully we now also have a range of great products to help kill the ticks before they can pass disease to your pet. Speak to your vets to get the latest advice on preventing ticks from living on your pet.