Protecting humans and pets this Tick Awareness Week

As the days grow longer and warmer, it also signals the emergence of a tiny but formidable foe – ticks. National Tick Bite Prevention Week, spanning from March 24th to 30th, aims to spread the word about tick bite prevention and why it’s important to “be tick aware” – for both humans and their furry friends.

In the UK, recent milder winters mean ticks are being sighted earlier in the year than normal. It’s incredibly important to educate pet owners about the potential danger of ticks.

The UK Health Security Agency underscores the implications of tick exposure for human health. Ticks can transmit microbes that cause infections such as Lyme disease or tick-borne encephalitis. Being tick aware can help to reduce the chance of tick bites and of being infected. Tips include:

• Ticks are prevalent in grassy and wooded areas, making activities like hiking, cycling, and camping risky for bites.
• Even urban parks may harbour ticks. Stick to paths and wear protective clothing.
• Use insect repellent (for example DEET) and check for ticks regularly.
• After outdoor activities, thoroughly inspect yourself, clothing, pets, and others for ticks.
• Remove attached ticks promptly using tick-removal tools or fine-tipped tweezers, ensuring they’re not squashed during removal.

As for our furry friends, RCVS Registered veterinary Surgeon Brian Faulkner and Petplan, emphasise the need for vigilance in the warmer months. The warmest months of the year are a great time to get outdoors with your dog – however the warmer, sunny weather can trigger a range of diseases such as Lyme disease and babesiosis. Tick-borne diseases are caused by parasites, viruses or bacteria transmitted through the bites of certain ticks.

To mitigate these risks, Faulkner and Petplan offer advice to pet owners. Many flea treatments and collars will repel ticks, too, so do read the label, and speak to your vet about finding the right treatment. Furthermore, regular inspections for ticks, especially after woodland or grassland walks are integral. Faulkner also emphasises the importance of proper tick removal techniques, employing a tick remover to twist off any attached parasites, preventing leaving mouthparts embedded in the skin.

For more information, readers can head to the below:
https://www.petplan.co.uk/pet-information/dog/advice/seasonal-illnesses/
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tick-surveillance-scheme

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4262 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.