Saturday, 19 July 2008

Ticks - Danger in the Undergrowth - A Timely Reminder for You and Your Dog

Summertime - holidays - country walks - hill walking - great fun for you and your dog.... BUT danger lurks in the undergrowth - to you, your children and your dogs.

TICKS - not just one but masses of them!

All you have to do is brush against a fern or a long piece of grass and you have one or more ticks on you! One of my dogs relieved himself and ended up with 8 ticks on him!

Ticks can carry Lyme's Disease - a permanent, debilitating, incurable illness. They are an increasing menace.

What can you do?
- Be vigilant. Examine your dog, your loved ones & yourself after every walk.
- Wear full length trousers & long-sleeved shirts. Tuck your trousers into your socks.
- Carefully & completely remove ticks.
- Wash the area thoroughly.
- Monitor for at least 2 weeks for infection.
- Seek medical help immediately if there are any signs of infection (inflammation or a red ring).
- It can be stopped with anti-biotics IF caught early enough.
- Ask the locals, the land-owners, estate managers, nature reserve wardens, look for notices.
- Talk to your vet.
- Visit the DEFRA website for free information.
- Look at previous articles in my Dogs-A-Z blog archive.

How Do I Remove a Tick?
This is an inexpensive, very effective tick removing tool. You can buy it from vets & pet shops.

Push the button down to open the clamp

Place over the ticks's head and release the button. Do not tug at the tick. Gently rotate anti-clockwise with a slight pull and the tick will come away. Kill the tick by crushing its head. Examine the bite and clean thoroughly.

A tick on a dog - note the bloated body

This link has useful pictures & information: