Shocking results of the Big Tick Project: a third of all dogs in the UK have ticks, and some of them are infected with Lyme disease. Learn more about this project and Lyme disease itself here.
This news is shocking and pretty sad: scholars that conducted large-scale in the United Kingdom stated that at least thirty percent of all dogs in the UK had ticks, and some of them were infected with Lyme disease. The scientists mentioned that at least three percent of dogs with ticks had Lyme disease. This announcement has shaken people and rose a question on what this Lyme disease is, whether it is contagious and how is it treated. But first of all, let us here more about this Big Ticks Project.
Lyme disease makes even the strongest of us panic as not too much is known about it, and there is no one answer to how to prevent it. That is why the researchers from Bristol University took part in a study of the ticks that dogs can get throughout their country.
As the official data shows, at least fifteen thousand dogs were examined by their masters as well as professional vets to see whether they had ticks that can be of any danger to their health. Ticks are a common thing for dogs; however, they can be very dangerous, so masters need to be very careful when examining their dogs after walks.
As the results showed at least thirty percent of all dogs examined had ticks. The dogs were picked in a non-systematic fashion as an attempt of a team of researchers to cover the whole country to see a big picture for the United Kingdom and ticks spreading. Unfortunately, according to the scientists, ticks are most present on the territory of “Scotland, East Anglia, and the South West.” Moreover, the number of ticks found did not depend on the area: there were just as many parasites in the cities as in the villages.
The idea of the Big Tick Project was to encourage vets throughout the country to examine dogs they pick in a non-systematic fashion to see whether they have ticks that might be infected with Lyme disease and be dangerous to dogs. Those vets that took part in the investigation were asked also to answer a few questions about dogs they examined, including the question of their sex, species, age, place of origin, and if ticks were in any way infectious.
After the results had been sorted out, the representatives of the project board stated that the disaster was worse than they hoped for. The ticks are quite common in dogs around the country. At least thirty percent of dogs have them, and this number has grown within the years for some reason.
However, it is not just the fact that ticks are being spread that scares the scientists but rather that together with them infections like Lyme disease and others are spread too. The problem is not too big for the United Kingdom itself, as it is not on the continent. But their more major concern is about the rest of European countries, as they might have an increasing number of infections spreading around.
Sure the risk for dogs that are walked in high grass and woods to catch a tick is greater than for dogs that are walked in the cities. However, the situation in the towns is also complicated.
As a result of this data being revealed, the researchers stated it is important to make sure that the population is aware of the consequences the ticks can bring as well as what Lyme disease that can be transmitted with the ticks is.
First of all, you should know that these creatures cannot fly, so do not be afraid of it getting into your house with the wind. It is only you or your pets that can get it inside your apartment. These ticks live in the bushes, grass, or trees. So whenever you go for a walk or walk your pets in areas with bushes, grass or trees you should be aware of the possibility of one of them getting on you at the moment when you brush against the leaves. The researchers also warn gardeners to be especially careful when working outside and take necessary measures not get a tick.
Tick that is infected with a special bacteria can transmit Lyme disease into your blood. This is what you need to know to answer the question of whether Lyme disease is contagious. Just a quick statistical fact: there are several thousand cases of Lyme disease in the United Kingdom alone every year. This data is provided by the research laboratories, which makes it trustworthy. Nevertheless, not all of the cases of getting Lyme disease indicate that a tick was caught in the local area. Some of the cases are people that went traveling to the areas with a rise of Lyme disease at the moment.
The Lyme disease symptoms include a specific red rash on the sick person’s body. Usually, this red Lyme disease rash is called “bullseye” in view of the shape of the rash that slightly reminds the eye of a bull. However, as the studies showed not all of the people get this rash, so it can be considered as the only and the first symptom of Lyme disease. Some of those who contracted Lyme disease noted that their symptoms were close to the ones they would have in case of a regular cold including pain in one’s muscles and joints.
To gain a better understanding of this disease let us have a closer look at its symptoms and treatment that doctors have to offer. So far doctors came up with antibiotics that can help fight off Lyme disease. As this infection can lead to serious complications, antibiotics are rather strong.
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The consequences of getting Lyme disease can be as serious as heart failure and nervous system malfunction. Given this, researchers made a list of precaution measures that has to be paid attention to by people that live in the areas of an increased danger level.
As one of the victims of Lyme disease stated, she had no idea she could catch Lyme disease until one day she felt fatigue. Doctors did not realize it was Lyme disease at first; however, as the girl remembered in a holiday house she got for her vacation a sign stated that there might be the risk of getting Lyme disease in that area she asked her doctors to test her for this infection. This saved her much time, as her general symptoms were those of the regular flu.
The disease was complicated, and the girl had to stay in one room for months struggling for her life. She had hard times when lights were on, or sounds were present nearby. And even more, she could not swallow, as it was a very painful experience for her.
Now, as she is trying to return to normal life, she highly recommends other people to stick to simple rules no tot get Lyme disease:
- Always wear long sleeves and boots when going to a wooded area.
- Cover your head when walking in a park.
- Wear light colors, as it is easier to spot ticks on light-colored clothes.
- Always check after coming back from a wooded area to see if you picked any ticks.
So, the number of ticks in dogs is growing, and at least three percent of these ticks are infected with Lyme disease. Therefore, be very careful when going for a walk and remember that being careful does not hurt but can save you from the agony and other consequences Lyme disease can bring into your life. Stay healthy!
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