Check your dog for ticks and fleas

Fri, 22 Jun 2007

According to a report in the Veterinary Record, 20 per cent of the 10 million cats in the UK have fleas, highlighting the fact that cats are chiefly responsible for spreading flea infestations.

For the survey 2,500 dogs and 1,500 cats were examined by researchers. They found that dogs were more likely to have fleas when living in the same house as a cat. Although 8 per cent of dogs have fleas, it was found that the majority of the type was the common cat flea.

Due to the warmer climate, it is estimated that the tic population will increase, causing problems for dogs. Ticks can transmit a number of diseases and in this respect are a close second to mosquitoes. The risk for dogs of picking up tics is increased when they go into long grass. The ticks lie in wait for their next host.

The natural habitat for ticks is moist, shady environments with long grass and only attach to a host when they are ready for a feed. This normally takes up to two weeks and but in this time the tick will have passed on a number of diseases to the dog.

So the next time your dog wanders into long grass, check your dog after for signs of any tick activity. If in doubt take your dog to the vet.

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