Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Troublesome Ticks - A Danger To You And Your Dog!

Tick Invasion !!!

Did you saw the article in the Daily Mail (Monday 17th March) about ticks?

There has been a rapid spread of disease-bearing ticks across Europe. Apparently this spread is due to rising temperatures.

This viral disease is called TBE (tick-borne encephalitis). It causes swelling of the brain, fits, paralysis, hallucinations and can kill. If you survive the effects can be permanent.

Both dogs and people can be infected.

People can be vaccinated against the disease. I understand that this is only available privately and costs £70 per jab. So far I haven't discovered if dogs can be vaccinated against TBE.

TBE is not the same as Lyme Disease, which is also spread by tick bites.

Lyme Disease is present in the UK. It is usually contracted from deer ticks.

If you are taking your pet abroad do talk to your vet. And talk to your GP as well for your own sake!

For more info on the web try :
- the ISW Group on TBE (
- CDC (
- the Foreign Office (

So what practical steps can we take?

- Carry out regular checks while you and your dog are out and about.
- Do a thorough check once you are back inside.
- Carefully remove any ticks (they can be very small).
- Thoroughly clean the area with soap and water.
- Monitor all bites for a couple of weeks.
- If there is any signs of infection ,or even just a red area , take your dog to the vet straight away, or see a doctor straight away. Delay can be very serious.

Tick Removal

A special tick removal tool can be bought from your vet , a pet shop, or on the internet. They are inexpensive to buy.
There are two types that I know of. One is a push-button operated clamp, the other is like a small bent crow-bar. Follow the instructions carefully.
Make sure that you fully remove the tick. Anything left behind could cause infection.
Thoroughly wash the area with soap and water.
Don't pinch your dog's skin - they don't like it!
Please don't use lighted cigarette ends or vaseline. These methods can shock the tick and cause it to release toxins into the blood.
Once you have removed the tick kill it by crushing the body and ,most importantly ,the head.

On that cheerful note I will finish! Bye for now, Ti

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