Vets across the country are being urged to participate in an initiative to help advance knowledge of ticks and help prevent tick-related disease in both animals and humans.
The Big Tick Project, which launches this month (April), seeks to increase dog owners’ understanding of the risks associated with ticks while encouraging them to seek veterinary advice on the issue.
The initiative comes as German-based research suggests there is evidence that ticks are active earlier in the year and feeding for longer, increasing their potential to transmit pathogens such as Borrelia burgdorferi – the bacterium responsible for causing Lyme disease – which can be a significant threat to animals and humans.
Participating practices will receive marketing support to promote the campaign in addition to a tick collection kit which includes freepost packaging so that ticks removed from dogs can be sent to the University of Bristol, which is running the study, for analysis. MSD Animal Health are also collaborating on the project which s supported by naturalist Chris Packham.
Professor Richard Wall from the University of Bristol said`: “For accurate results we need as many ticks as possible and I encourage vet practices up and down the country to get involved. We need data from all types of practices ranging from urban to rural locations to help vets and human health professionals make more effective recommendations and help prevent tick-related disease.”
Practices can take part in The Big Tick Project by emailing a contact name and their practice details to email@example.com