Ticks carry harmful diseases including Lyme disease.
Ticks found on ‘one third’ of dogs, researchers say!
Almost a third of dogs checked at random across the UK were found to be carrying a tick, researchers say.
The finding comes from the largest survey of ticks in dogs, researchers also found that the risk of an animal picking up a tick is as great in urban areas as in rural ones.
Ticks carry harmful diseases.
Ticks can carry a range of diseases including Lyme disease, and also a parasite discovered in the UK for the first time earlier this year that is potentially fatal to dogs.
Lyme disease has the potential to cause serious health problems, such as meningitis and heart failure. In the most serious cases, it can be fatal.
Large animal survey carried out.
Almost 15,000 dogs from across the UK were examined in the study, which was carried out by Bristol University last year.
Just under a third (31%) of these dogs checked at random during a visit to the vet had been found to be carrying a tick.
Researchers were surprised.
The researchers found that the arachnids are present right across the UK, with the highest risk areas being in Scotland, East Anglia and the South West. There can be just as many in urban areas as in rural areas.
Study was carried with the help of Vets.
Launched in April 2015, the project asked participating vets to examine dogs in their practice for each week and complete a questionnaire relating to the clinical history of each dog. The species, life-cycle stage, sex and location of origin and whether it was carrying any pathogens were recorded.
Results are Compelling.
Prof Richard Wall, who led the Big Tick Project team at the University of Bristol, said: “The work that we have carried out shows that ticks are extremely widely dispersed. The records that we have got appear to show that we have had an increase in tick numbers right across the country.
Cause for concern.
Most defiantly “Our primary concern is about the diseases that ticks carry. In the UK, we have relatively low rates of the prevalence of these pathogens at the moment and, in contrast, in continental Europe they have much higher rates of disease. As there seems to be a rise in tick numbers, we need to be concerned and be aware of the potential for increasing problems within the UK.”
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