Don’t get ticked off
IN a study by Bristol University, ticks were found on almost a third of dogs last year. The sample of 15,000 dogs across the UK highlights a concern that many in the countryside have been aware of for years: there has been an explosion in tick numbers. This matters because ticks act as a carrier for a number of diseases and parasites, which can be fatal to dogs.
Lyme disease can be transmitted by a bite of a tick and can cause serious health problems for humans, including meningitis and heart failure. I have a gamekeeper friend who was ill for almost a year, with the disease affecting his nervous system before he recovered.
We need to take ticks more seriously and that involves checking your dog over after a walk, especially if it’s been through woodland or moorland, which are strongholds for ticks. If one gets on to you, it should be taken seriously and not dismissed. They’re easy to remove by grasping the tick with a pair of tweezers as close to the skin as possible and then pulling upwards with a steady, even pressure. Afterwards, bathe the area in rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water. MH