What are ticks?
Ticks are members of the acarid family, like spiders and they’re second only to mosquitoes in transmitting infectious disease to humans and animals.
Where are they found?
Traditionally, ticks are found in areas of heathland, moorland and woodland but are now increasingly present in urban parks and gardens.
How can I tell if my pet has ticks?
Ticks are easily identified as smooth grey-brown swellings appearing generally where the hair coat is thin (ears, face, abdomen, legs etc.) They first appear 1mm across in size, but can grow up to 15mm as they feed.
What problems can ticks cause for my pet?
Upon finding a suitable host, ticks attach and begin to feed on the host’s blood. Ticks pierce the host’s skin with their mouthparts and secrete a cement-like substance which seals the mouthparts in place, preventing easy removal of the tick. It is for this reason that care must be taken when removing ticks in order to ensure that the mouthparts are not left behind. If this does occur an abscess can develop at the site.
As ticks feed on the pet’s blood it is possible for them to cause anaemia in heavy infestations. Ticks can carry Lyme disease which can affect humans as well as dogs. Clinical signs in dogs include fever, lethargy, arthritis and occasionally skin lesions.
How do I get rid of ticks?
Routine treatment using a product like FRONTLINE Spot On once a month for your dog or cat will help protect against ticks, as well as fleas.
FRONTLINE Spot On is not a tick repellent but it will kill the three main European species of ticks within 48 hours, and it helps prevent transmission of the infections they may carry.
Ticks should drop off once they’re dead, but if not, remove them with a tick hook or a pair of tweezers. If you can’t remove them, ask your vet for help.