We are currently in the prime season for tick bites - between May and August - and these bites can cause serious problems for cats and dogs.?Heath Veterinary Clinics, in Burgess Hill and Hurstpierpoint, are offering advice on how to deal with these pesky passengers.
Emily Chadburn, Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Heath Vets, offers information on all things tick related so that pet owners can be prepared if any nasty critters take a fancy to their furry friend:
- Ticks carry a number of diseases and one of the most common is Lyme Disease, which in dogs and cats can cause symptoms including joint inflammation and lack of appetite. Humans can be affected too by this potentially serious illness with fever, headaches and rashes in the early stages.
- Ticks are commonly found in woodland, long grass and bushes where they lie in wait for a passing animal to jump on to and suck their blood before falling off to find another victim.
- The tick may not bite the animal immediately which is why it's especially important to check your pets regularly. The skin and hair should be thoroughly examined and particular attention given to places where a tick can hide, including the ears and crevices such as thigh and shoulder joints.
- Removing the tick as soon as possible is key to reducing the chances of both illness and infection and it is imperative to make sure that it's completely removed.?
- It's easy to leave the head behind, meaning potential infection or your pet. A special tick removal tool is available, or tweezers can be used, but it's essential to pull the tick out in a steady motion without twisting or jerking, as this is when the head or mouth parts can be left behind in the skin.
- Once the tick has been completely removed, the skin should be treated with antiseptic and the animal's health monitored for 24-48 hours.
- Tick repellent sprays or powders are also available.
For more information and advice about ticks, pop into your local Heath Veterinary Clinic either in Burgess Hill or Hurstpierpoint.