Ticks are the stuff of nightmares – eight-legged parasites that attach themselves to your dog, bury their heads in its skin and drink its blood. They can also pass on diseases and cause infections, so no-one’s feeling the love for them.
However, they are very widespread in areas where you’re most likely to walk your dog – heathland, grassland and woodland, especially if farm animals or deer also live there – and are most active from spring to autumn.
Given the speed at which these little suckers can grow once they’ve got hold of your dog, it can be quite distressing to find one, which is why our head vet Paul Houghton has compiled this guide to preventing, spotting and removing ticks. As ever, if you’ve any questions after reading this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team for advice.
Better than cure
It’s an old saying but it holds true that prevention is better than cure and there are quite a few products out there that kill or repel ticks. They come in a variety of forms, from tablet to spot-on to collar, but it’s always best to ask which is most suitable for your pet. When you bring your dog to Rockingham Road Veterinary Surgery for an annual check up one of our vets will discuss the best form of protection.
Sometimes these parasites get past preventative measures and will manage to attach to your pet. They’re pretty easy to spot, especially once they’ve ingested enough blood and they can reach up to about 1cm long, and are usually found around the head and neck. You’ll either see them or feel them as you run your hands over your dog’s coat.
Never try to pull a tick off as you risk leaving its head embedded in your dog. You can get special tick-removal devices or bring your dog to see us at 74-76 Rockingham Road, Corby and one of the experienced team will help you out.
If you keep your dog’s parasite prevention up to date hopefully you won’t have to encounter one of these creatures, so please call us on 01536 407778 to check whether your dog’s programme is all in order.