Tick Bite Prevention Week

20th March 2023

What are ticks and why are they important to prevent?

Ticks are external parasites that live by feeding off of the blood of humans and animals. The reason to prevent ticks in both humans and your pets is that some can carry harmful bacteria’s that can cause Lyme disease and other serious illnesses. It is important to note that not all ticks carry these harmful bacteria’s but it is always good practice to prevent the occurrence of ticks in the first place – just in case. According to Public Health England, less than 10% of ticks in the UK carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Can my pet get Lyme disease?

Yes! Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection that occurs in Dogs, Cats and Humans. Although less common in cats. Symptoms can include:

Loss of appetite
Swollen and painful joints
Swollen lymph nodes

If caught early, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. Please seek veterinary care immediately.

When are ticks most prevalent?

Tick infestations usually occur in the UK from Spring to early Summer (between March and June) and then again from late Summer throughout Autumn (between August and November)

Where are they found?

Ticks that can cause Lyme disease can be found all across the UK, however their preferred environments are in grassy and wooded areas, in Southern and Northern England as well as the Scottish Highlands. Areas known to have a high tick population are: Exmoor, the New Forest and other rural areas of Hampshire, the South Downs, parts of Wiltshire and Berkshire, parts of Surrey and West Sussex, Thetford Forest in Norfolk, the Lake District, the North York Moors and the Scottish Highlands.

How to prevent ticks?

Consult your vet to receive the correct tick-control product for your pet. These can include oral medications, or topical treatments such as spot-on treatments, sprays or anti-tick collars. Please seek your vets advice to ensure you choose the right preventative for your pets, who will consider their breed and size and the strength of treatment required.

How to check your pet for ticks and how to remove them:

Make sure to check your pets for ticks after they spend time outdoors. Run your fingers through their fur and be sure to check in and around their ears, around the eyes and even between their toes. If you do find a tick, use a tick-removal tool, follow the pack instructions on how to use this correctly.

For more information on preventing ticks please visit: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/pet-health-hub/symptoms/preventing-ticks