Ticks are blood sucking parasites with highly developed mouth parts, which allow them to bite through your pet's skin and remain attached for many days whilst they feed (approximately 3-10 days).
Ticks are caught from the environment. The tick can often be found on grass and other vegetation waiting until your pet brushes past to attach.
Take Lyme Disease Seriously!
In Pets - Lyme Disease an cause symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite and lameness.
In Humans - Unfortunately, Lyme Disease can also be transmitted to humans from a tick bite and can be potentially fatal. Common signs of Lyme Disease include flu-like symptoms, rashes, headaches, chronic arthritis and neurological symptoms.
Keep an eye out for the tell-tale 'bullseye' rash as shown here...
Fact: In 2011 there were more than 1,100 cases of Lyme Disease reported in humans. That's almost a 25% rise from the year before.
If you are worried about any of these symptoms after a tick bite either in your pet or a family member, please seek immediate advice from a vet and/or medical professional.
Removing ticks can be done successfully using the right technique and tools. The O'Tom Tick Twister is an ingenious device, costing under £5 for two hooks.
But remember! Never use the device to merely pull the tick when attempting removal as this can increase the risk of leaving part of the tick's mouth still embedded in your pet's skin. Twisting is the key!
Lice are tiny parasites that spend their whole life cycle on the host (your cat or dog). Lice are present on the skin of your pet and feed on skin debris. A female louse can lay many eggs in your pet's fur, which become glued to hair fibres until the louse is ready to hatch.
The transmission of lice occurs through direct contact with an infected pet, however lice are highly species specific, therefore your dog can only catch lice from another dog, not a cat and vice versa.
Heavy infestations can cause intense itching and discomfort for your pet. Damage to the skin from itching can result in inflammation, hair loss or bacterial infections.
Tapeworms are internal parasites which live inside the small intestine of your pet. Tapeworms, as the name suggests look like long flat tapes divided into smaller segments. The tapeworm regularly releases eggs, which pass out of the host via its faeces.
Cats and dogs can catch tapeworm through a number of different ways, but did you know that the flea transmits tapeworm? Fleas act as a host to tapeworm eggs, and if accidentally ingested during grooming can lead to tapeworm infestations.