Following the recent news that cases of tick-borne encephalitis have been reported in parts of England, our head vet, Rod, at Clent Hills Vets is warning everyone – particularly dog walkers – to be extra vigilant.
Encephalitis will generally only present as mild flu-like symptoms, but in rare cases this can develop further and affect the brain, so if you have been bitten by a tick in recent months and experienced any such symptoms, the advice from PHE is to visit your GP.
While ticks are well known for carrying Lyme disease, which can affect humans, these cases of encephalitis – reported in Thetford Forest and the New Forest – are the first signs that this virus has reached the UK.
The risk is very low, but if you’re working or walking in countryside areas you should take precautions to protect yourself from ticks by covering exposed skin and sticking to paths rather than heading into undergrowth.
If if you have any more questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Ticks are tiny, eight-legged creatures that attach themselves to animals or people and feed off their blood. While they rarely cause harm to dogs, they can swell to the size of a pea in a fairly short space of time and look a little alarming.
Special tools are available for removing them, ensuring the head isn’t left embedded in the skin, which may happen if you simply try to pull a tick off your dog. This in turn can lead to infection. If you’re in any doubt about removing a tick yourself, please contact the team on our central line 01527 889810 for further advice.
There are also treatments to help repel ticks or kill them if they do bite your dog, including tablets and spot-on applications. Again we will be happy to discuss these with you.
Remember, if you need any more advice, you can give our team a call on 01527 889810 or contact us online.