Dr Vince MacNally BVSc VetMFHom MRCVS, a veterinary surgeon in Southport with over 30 years’ experience and creator of a unique range of clinically proven, natural supplements and remedies under the Vince the Vet® brand name, is warning pet owners to be very careful of ticks, as these parasites are prevalent throughout the UK and pose a particular risk at this time of the year.
To help pet owners and retailers understand the importance of removing ticks correctly and how to care for affected dogs and cats afterwards to prevent problems arising, Vince the Vet® has produced a special information video which can be played in store. The video explains how to safely remove a tick if one is found, and which Vince the Vet® products to use to minimise local irritation and help the immune system cope with any tick transmitted diseases.
Ticks are related to spiders, mites and scorpions. There are many different species of tick living in Britain, each preferring to feed on the blood of different animal hosts. They can be found in any place with moist air, where they are protected from drying out. Typical habitats include deciduous and coniferous woodland, heathland, moorland, rough pasture, forests and urban parks. Ticks can also be found in private gardens, especially those with shady shrubberies or deep vegetation.
Ticks feed on the blood of other animals. They cannot jump or fly, but when ready for a meal will climb a nearby piece of vegetation and wait for a passing animal or human to attach to with their hooked front legs. The tick will not necessarily bite immediately but will often spend some time finding a suitable site on the skin to feast, so it is important to brush pets and clothing thoroughly before going inside.
Once a tick has started to feed, its body fills with blood. Adult females can swell to many times their original size, at which point they often resemble a small grey pea. Undisturbed, a tick will feed for around 5 to 7 days before dropping off.
Vince said: “The bite is usually painless and so most people will only know they have been bitten if they happen to see a feeding tick attached to them. Pets may not show any signs of being bitten at all. The risk of infection with a tick borne disease increases the longer the tick is attached, but can happen at any time during feeding. For this reason, any ticks should be safely removed as soon as possible and Vince the Vet® Insect Irritation Remedy applied 3 – 4 times daily to the affected area. A drop gently dabbed on the lips or nose can also help to soothe and calm an irritated pet. Natural ingredients include: spring water and alcohol (25%) plus extracts of: Astacus fluviatiles, Calendula and Uritca urens.
Following these first aid measures Vince the Vet® Immunity is best added to the diet for at least a month or two, to help the immune system cope with exposure to any harmful microorganisms introduced by the bite, which if left untreated can cause serious disease.
Immunity is available in 200g and 400g sizes. Active ingredients include powdered Echinacea purpurea leaf, stem and root, plus organic Kelp.”
It is extremely important to remove ticks immediately, as they can cause several serious conditions, the most common being Lyme disease.