Lifetime cover for working dogs can now be provided in a policy by BASC dog insurance with Agria. This is for while they are both training and working in the field, and this environment is where dogs are most at risk. This is because of the rough ground and woodland. Working dogs can also become host to ticks and fleas that can result in serious infestations and diseases, which can be extremely debilitating, cause lifelong symptoms, or can even be fatal.
Agria’s Vet Panel Lead Robin Hargreaves, is the former President of the British Veterinary Association, and gives some information about ticks that would be useful for gundog owners.
Many think that ticks are just a Spring/Summer problem and therefore gundogs cannot be affected during the Autumn and Winter, however these seasons cannot be looked at in isolation. Ticks are seen more during the Spring and Summer months, but are still seen on dogs all year round.
How to remove ticks from dogs?
If a tick is found on a dog, it needs to be properly removed using a tick remover, or it can be done by the vet. Ticks should never be pulled off as it can cause the mouth parts to remain in the skin, leading to the dog getting a nasty foreign body reaction.
Finding small ticks on dogs can be very hard, especially in long coats. It is also very hard to know whether all the ticks on the dog have been found, which is why it is so important to have tick protection to reduce risk.
The three main diseases spread by ticks are Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis and Lyme Disease. Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis are very rare, whereas Lyme disease is more common. The symptoms for Lyme Disease, however, can be very vague and therefore difficult to identify. The dog may just be ‘unwell’ in several ways. This means that even vets may find it hard to diagnose the severity, and it could take longer for anyone to realise what is causing the dog to be unwell. Again, this is why cover and prevention is absolutely vital.
Your vet can give advice about appropriate tick prevention for gundogs, and your vet should also be immediately consulted if there is any concern that your dog may have been affected by a tick. If a dog is insured with Agria for tick-borne diseases, cover is available for treatment as long as it is needed, and as long as the policy is active.