Babesiosis is a global disease and is widespread throughout southern and central continental Europe. It is caused by a tiny parasite – Babesia canis – that infects red blood cells, causing anaemia, dark red urine, pale gums, lethargy and fever. Babesia canis is spread by the Ornate Dog Tick Dermacentor reticulatus and poses a significant risk to pets travelling abroad. This is why it is so important to treat your dogs for ticks whilst abroad and before returning home. Until recently there have only been rare cases of babesiosis in untravelled dogs in the UK. However this changed in Spring 2016 with a cluster of cases in Harlow, Essex. More recently two fresh cases have emerged 20 miles away from the initial outbreak, raising the possibility that this tick-borne disease could become more widespread across the UK and Ireland.
Lyme disease is widespread across the UK and Ireland and spread by the sheep tick – Ixodes ricinus. It is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and can cause recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. Humans can also suffer from Lyme disease. Take two simple steps to minimise the risk of tick-borne diseases:
- Monitor pets daily for ticks and remove promptly with a tick hook.
- Use chemical tick protection – please let us recommend the best product for your pets.
If you would like further information on ticks and tick-borne diseases, please ask a member of our team! If you would like to speak to one of our staff or need more information, please contact us on 01858 462 839 or email firstname.lastname@example.org