Vets get tough on new menace

Wigan Vet Luc Van Dijck
Wigan Vet Luc Van Dijck

VETS across Wigan are joining forces to support the Big Tick Project, a new nationwide initiative that tracks the rise of the tick population in the UK and finding out how many carry Lyme Disease.

Blood sucking ticks are feeding earlier in the year and for longer, putting Wigan’s dogs and their owners at risk. 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.

Dog owners can take their pets to participating practices in Wigan, including Luc Van Dijck Veterinary Centre, Little Lane Vets, Medivet, Gilmore Vet Surgery and Vetcare Ltd 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.

TV presenter Chris Packham is heading up the campaign and feels the challenge of keeping dogs and people tick-free has never been greater. He said: “While I find both ticks and fleas interesting creatures, I don’t want them on my dogs, in my house, or on me.”

Ticks are hard to spot when small but can transmit infections as they feed off the blood of their host. Dog owners often see ticks when they have increased in size as a result of their blood meal but by then the damage may have been done.

Local practices Luc Van Dijck Veterinary Centre, Little Lane Vets, Medivet, Gilmore Vet Surgery and Vetcare Ltd are determined to do all they can to ensure Wigan’s pets are protected. New advances and treatment innovation means that there are a number of ways that vets can control ticks, including the use of spot-ons (typically applied every four weeks), sprays, collars and oral formulations which can last up to 12 weeks.