Friday 2nd March 2018

Tick surveillance scheme

ESCCAP UK and Ireland and PHE have collaborated to publish tick surveillance scheme data outlining the different species of tick found on cats and dogs but also the locations on the body where they were found.

Data on the bite site location of ticks on pets aids veterinary professionals and parasite advice groups to better guide clients as to where to look for ticks on their animals. Coupled with knowledge of peak pet-tick exposure periods, this will increase detection of feeding ticks, potentially reducing the risk of tick-borne disease transmission, and may also encourage pet owners to think about their own health by making them tick aware. from dogs, 79.4 per cent were Ixodes ricinus, 18.9 per cent Ixodes hexagonus and 1.7 per cent other species (Dermacentor reticulatus, Haemaphysalis punctata and I canisuga). Of the 149 records from cats, 51.7 per cent were I ricinus, 46.3 per cent I hexagonus and 2.0 per cent other species (I canisuga and I ventalloi). These results were comparable to other recent studies identifying ticks found on dogs and cats. Seasonal breakdown of the data suggests that Ixodes ricinus numbers on cats will already be climbing from this month so despite the extreme cold weather pet owners should still be tick aware.