Exotic Pet Diseases No Longer Foreign to the UKDog owners are being warned about a deadly tick-borne disease that has entered the UK. A fourth case of the life threatening tick-borne disease Babesia has been found in Essex which appears to be a hot spot. Andrew Bucher, co-founder and Chief Veterinary Officer at MedicAnimal, the UK’s leading online pet healthcare retailer, has some interesting thoughts on the subject. Please give me a call on 0207 343 1600 if you would like to speak to MedicAnimal for further comment.

Andrew Bucher, co-founder and Chief Veterinary Officer of MedicAnimal, commented:

“Exotic diseases are now possibly no longer foreign to the UK, although many pet owners don’t check for ticks as they feel it will only affect their dog and not them, especially if they do not travel. While we would ordinarily expect tick season to begin across March and November, the recent trend of milder winters have meant that pet owners should be alert earlier in the year.

“With the relaxation of the pet passport rules within the EU, family pets are now no longer required to undergo tick-treatment before returning to the UK, and several species of tick, such as the brown dog tick, can carry diseases not normally found in the UK, such as babesia canis, which affects red blood cells. While there are a range of treatment options available, prevention will always be better than a cure, and we would urge pet owners to remain vigilant and regularly check their animals. It pays to be careful, and with several species of tick living indoors and able to breed year round, pet owners should look for signs of ticks outside of the regular season.”

Easy methods of prevention include:

· Wear long sleeves and trousers (you can tuck them into your socks) when walking in wooded or moorland areas and if possible wear light-coloured clothes

· Groom your pet regularly to check for infestations especially around the face and chest area

· If possible, reduce the likelihood of a tick habitat forming in your garden

· Apply a spot on treatment to your pet that either kills ticks or prevents them attaching in the first place

· If you see a tick on your pet, use a tick remover, do not use your fingers or heat to remove them

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