A new study carried out by The University of Salford has found that ticks present a risk all year round, not just warmer months.
The research, which was sponsored by animal health firm, Merial, launched in 2013 and has found that ticks continued to quest in woodlands throughout the year, even during the coldest months with ticks being detected on dogs throughout the year.
These findings come hot on the heels of recent analysis of veterinary practice electronic health records which showed the presence of ticks on pets in all weeks between December and March.
Post graduate student Jessica Hall has been running the study since 2013, which has also involved running Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of DNA from Lyme disease (Borrelia burdorferi) on the collected ticks, with this data due to be released early next year.
Lynda Maris, a Product Manager at Merial Animal Health says the study findings send out an important message to vets and pet owners, “It’s been thought for some time that ticks are very inactive or even dormant in winter and don’t present a risk. These findings show that they continue to quest in an attempt to find a host and are often successful. If ticks are attaching and feeding during the winter months, the risk of Lyme disease and babesiosis remains a real possibility. If the appropriate product is selected, the same year-round treatment programme that controls fleas and other parasites, will also treat ticks and thus help reduce the risk of tick-borne diseases.”