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LYME DISEASE STRIKES CHARITY DEMONSTRATION DOG

LYME DISEASE STRIKESCHARITY DEMONSTRATION DOG

Even highly tick aware owners andtheir dogs are at risk from tick-borne disease!

Tick-borne disease charity BADA-UKhas confirmed that one of its canine team members, ‘Shaun’, contracted Lymedisease (Borreliosis) from the bite of an infected tick this summer.

Whilst erythema migrans (the rashcommonly associated with Lyme disease) is rarely reported in canines, Shaun'stell-tale rash was spotted during a routine tick check when he and the BADA-UKteam were promoting tick awareness at an agricultural show this summer.

The three BADA-UK working Cocker Spaniels (Tarn,Bean and Shaun) help to demonstrate how a tick check should be performed, andhow a dog can be trained to be examined.

Although all the spaniels had been treated against tick andflea infestations, the efficacy of the product against tick attachment wasreaching its end, and the dogs were due to be retreated on returning from theshow. Despite regular tick checks, Tarn hadacquired a tick between her toes, and Bean one behind her ear. By the time theticks were noticed, they were fully engorged.

During Shaun's tick check, one of the BADA-UK team thoughtthey felt a tick on him but, on closer inspection, only a tick bite could beseen on Shaun's chest. A pit where the tick had been attached was visible andwas still red and inflamed. However, of greater concern was a vivid bull's-eyelesion expanding out from the bite site.

Experienced in identifying the various presentations of tickbites, the BADA-UK team suspected Shaun's lesion might be an erythema migransand he was taken to see a veterinary surgeon experienced in the treatment ofcanine Lyme disease.

Following veterinary diagnosis,Shaun was prescribed a 30-day course of Doxycycline (a strong antibioticcommonly used to treat Lyme disease in humans and dogs) and, due to theinfection being spotted early, his prognosis is thought to be good.

According to BADA-UK founder andChair, Wendy Fox, the infection highlights the very real risk of contractingtick-borne diseases, even for the most well-caredfor dogs and tick-aware owners.

“We find a lot of owners genuinely believe their dogs cannotget ticks because they keep their animals clean and well groomed”, she says.“This sort of misconception is notable even at canine events, where you mightexpect to encounter the best informed dog owners. The sad fact is that manypeople still do not take the risk of tick-borne disease seriously enough.

"There are also so many folklore methods of tickremoval still being used which go against current recommendations, such asapplying solutions to the tick to suffocate it, or burning or freezing itsupposedly to make it back out on its own. These methods all may causeback-flow of infective fluids from the tick, potentially increasing the risk ofdisease transmission.

"Whilst we keep the BADA-UK dogs' parasite-controlproducts up to date, there is always the possibility of individual ticksattaching. Even though the dogs are checked daily for ticks, it can be easy tomiss individual ticks until they are fully engorged; often because of theirsmall size and flat shape when unfed. This is why it is so important to helpreduce the risk of tick attachment with an effective tick repellent".

For more information on how to keep your pet safe: Visit http://www.bada-uk.org/keep-pets-safe

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