Flees may be the least of your worries next time you cuddle your dog as a blood-thirsty tick from continental Europe has been discovered on Britain’s shores, putting animals and humans at risk of disease
Britons could be at risk of disease after a new breed of blood-sucking ticks were discovered in England and Wales.
Researchers are blaming climate change for the new arrival, known as the Dermacentor reticulates tick, which was found during a study of dog infestations at Bristol University.
‘This has serious implications for the incidence of tick-borne disease,’ says head of Bristol University’s veterinary parasitology group, Professor Richard Wall who led the study. ‘The results suggest that the risk of tick infestation is far higher in dogs than was previously thought.’
Dog ticks can carry several different diseases including Lyme disease, which can be passed onto humans and if left untreated can damage the heart and nervous system.
The research published in the journal Medical and Veterinary Entomology, studied 3,500 dogs finding 14.9% of dogs were infested with ticks at any one time.
Gun dogs such as spaniels, retrievers and terriers and other long-haired hounds are most susceptible to tick infestations.