As you may have noticed the ticks are back. With warmer wetter winters the ticks are making an earlier appearance each year and tick season seems to be fully underway here in the New Forest. A price I guess we pay for having access to local venison and beautiful countryside.
Ticks pose a threat of transmitting disease to both dogs and humans. If you find a tick, remove it carefully, preferably with a tick removing tool. Do not, as we often see suggested, smother it with Vicks or petroleum jelly.
However prevention is your best defence against these little blighters. If out walking wear long sleeves and tuck trousers in at the ankle - not a great look - but hey needs must. Check out this Public Health England article for more information
If you do get bitten, and particularly if you have a bulls eye rash around the bite then seek medical advice. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Lyme-disease/
Taz our mini schnauzer, seems particularly prone to picking ticks up in his beard and eyebrows as he has a coat they can easily get hold of - and he loves shoving his face in the grass whilst he grazes!! We check all the dogs regularly and have started to use a daily repellent before each walk, as well as garlic in their food.
We make our own repellent, and re-purpose and old pump action spray bottle. Mollie will disappear as soon as she sees it, so we have to put it on our hands before rubbing it on her. We pay particular attention to the neck, chest and belly areas as this is where ticks are most likely to hitch a ride.
If you do find a tick on your self or your dogs, please consider sending it off to Public Health England survey https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tick-surveillance-scheme
Enjoy your walks and be tick aware