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Ticks are blood sucking parasites which can temporarily attach to dogs and cats when they come into contact with them outside (for example in long grass and in rural woodland areas).
Infestation of dogs is more common than that of cats and is highly seasonal. For example, in the UK and Central Europe there are historically two peaks: the first from March to June and the second from August to November. However climate change is tending to extend this seasonal activity.
Causing a range of diseases, ticks act as vectors of diseases which affect pets and, sometimes, pet owners. Ticks can transmit bacteria, viruses and other parasitic infections as well as feeding on blood (which, in heavy infestation, could lead to anaemia, especially in young animals).
Keep watchful! Popular places for ticks to hide are on and in the ears, between toes and in armpits, stomach and tail areas. Regularly examine your pet's coat thoroughly and, if a tick is found, it can then be most reliably removed using a proprietary tick-removal device. Dispose of ticks responsibly using a sealed plastic bag.
Speak to your vet or SQP for advice about preventing and controlling tick infestations. Various anti-parasitic agents can be applied in a manner best suited to your pet. Effective tick control can help prevent discomfort and disease in your pets.
WARNING: Never squeeze or puncture an attached tick. Always ensure that tick removal is carried out using a correct device and if in doubt, go to your vet. Incorrect removal of ticks may cause wound infection or for diseases to be passed to your pet.
Key preventative measures
It is important to check your pet regularly for ticks. Ticks can also bite and transmit diseases to humans so be sure, when checking your pet for ticks, to also check yourself.
One of the most effective ways to keep ticks off your pet is to apply a tick prevention product.
With the proper knowledge, you can protect your dog, your family and yourself from the dangers of tick-borne diseases.