Vets are working with a TV celeb to stop dogs and their owners being put a risk from Lyme disease.
Blood sucking ticks are feeding earlier in the year and for longer, putting dogs and owners at risk.
Tick bites can transmit serious infections, such as Lyme disease, a serious and debilitating illness that can cause long term health problems in dogs and people.
Now, Haywards Heath’s veterinary practices are taking action by joining TV presenter Chris Packham and the University of Bristol in the Big Tick Project.
This initiative runs from spring to autumn, tracking the rise of the tick population and how many carry disease.
Dog owners can take their pets to participating practices including Cootes Veterinary Clinic, Oathall Veterinary Group, Mid Sussex Vets, Forest Lodge Vet Centre, East Grinstead Veterinary Hospital and Portland Road Veterinary Surgery for a tick check and advice about tick control.
Chris Packham said: “Research highlighted by the Big Tick Project experts at Bristol University suggests that ticks are a growing problem, especially in areas such as urban parkland, woodland or open country.
“While I find both ticks and fleas interesting creatures, I don’t want them on my dogs, in my house, or on me.
“I want the best advice and treatment available and I know I can get this by talking to my vet.”
Any ticks found on dogs will be collected and sent to Bristol University laboratories to help advance the knowledge of tick-borne disease.
There are several ways vets can control ticks, including the use of spot-ons, sprays, collars and oral formulas which can last up to 12 weeks. Dog owners wanting a tick check or to find out more visit www.bigtickproject.co.uk or visit a participating vet.