Following the recent news that four separate suspected cases of dogs infected with the tick-borne disease Babesiosis have been identified in Essex, experts are warning of the increased risk from foreign ticks being brought over to the UK.
What is Babesiosis?
Babesiosis is a disease of cattle and other livestock, transmitted by the bite of ticks. It affects the red blood cells and causes the passing of red or blackish urine.
Why is there an increase?
According to a new study* up to half (49%) of pet owners admit their pet could have been bitten by a tick when in another country and more than two thirds (70%) of owners are worried about their pet picking up a parasite or disease when abroad.
Since the UK Government updated the Pet Travel Scheme in 2014, growing numbers of dog owners are choosing to take their pets on holiday with them to European destinations, increasing the risk of a number of tick-borne diseases being brought back to the UK.
With the introduction of the Pet Travel Scheme, pet owners now have greater freedom of movement when it comes to taking their pets abroad to EU countries. The number of Pet Passports issued by the Animal and Plant Health Agency increased from 72,325 in 2014 to 127,657 in 2015**.
How do I protect my pet?
Pet owners are encouraged to speak to their vet about using a preventative tick product to meet their needs.