Blood-sucking ticks are feeding earlier in the year and for longer – putting the lives of dog owners and their pets at risk.
Now vets in West Norfolk are taking action by joining naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham and the University of Bristol in the Big Tick Project.
This new nationwide initiative runs from spring through to autumn, tracking the rise of the tick population in the UK and finding out how many carry disease.
Dog owners can take their pets to participating practices at Mill House Veterinary Surgery & Hospital, in Tennyson Avenue, Lynn, Vets 4 pets, in Campbells Meadow, Lynn and Coldhirne vets, in Friar Street, Lynn, and Anchorage Barn Vets, in East Rudham, for a tick check and advice about innovations in effective tick control.
Any ticks found on dogs will be collected and sent to Bristol University laboratories to help advance the knowledge of tick-borne disease, benefiting both veterinary and human medicine.
Tick bites can transmit serious infections, such as Lyme disease, a serious and debilitating illness that can cause long term health problems in dogs and people.
Mr Packham said: “Research highlighted by the Big Tick Project experts at Bristol University suggests that ticks are a growing problem, especially in areas such as urban parkland, woodland or open country. While I find both ticks and fleas interesting creatures, I don’t want them on my dogs, in my house, or on me.
“I want the best advice and treatment available and I know I can get this by talking to my vet.”