Researchers from the University of Bristol have noticed that the number of dogs infested with parasites is far higher than previous records. They have found a breed of bloodsucking tick (Dermacentor reticulates) for the first time in UK. These ticks are a major disease vector in continental Europe and might have arrived in UK due to climate changes. Now scientists fear that the disease carried by these ticks could possibly infect humans and animals in the country.
3,500 dogs were studied during the research. It was found that at any one time 15% of dogs were infested with ticks. This research has serious implications for the increased incidence of tick-borne disease among dogs. Gun dogs like retrievers, setters and spaniels, plus terriers and pastoral breeds which are traditionally used to guard livestock are found to be most susceptible for tick infestations. Long-haired species were more susceptible than short-haired breeds.