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‘No Bite is Right’ when it comes to ticks, warn experts

With the recent warning of a rise in UK tick populations reported in the media, pet owners need to be aware of the risks and remain vigilant, according to experts.

This comes as new research, commissioned by Bayer Animal Health, reveals that over three quarters of vets regularly see clients whose dogs/cats are affected by ticks and two thirds say they have seen instances where owners themselves have been bitten by ticks.

As part of the ‘It’s A Jungle’ 2015 parasite protection initiative, Bayer is launching its biggest tick awareness campaign called ‘No Bite Is Right’, designed to remind vets about the importance of tick repellency and inform their clients that they can use a preventative product that affects ticks/fleas on contact - no biting required!

According to the survey, 88 per cent of vets believe that tick repellency is an important feature of a tick product in addition to tick killing activity.  In a separate survey of UK pet owners, nearly all (96 per cent) said they would be happier using a tick product knowing that ticks are repelled before biting and feeding can take place.

However, the research which questioned 5,000 pet owners found that 47 per cent are not aware that some flea and tick products require the flea/tick to bite their pet in order to be killed.

One in five owners only check their animal for fleas/ticks after seeing them scratching themselves or if they see a flea/tick on their animal. The same percentage of respondents said they were not aware of the risks posed by flea and tick bites to their pets and family.

David Grant, Independent Veterinary Surgeon, says: “Owner education is key when it comes to communicating the ‘No Bite Is Right’ message. Awareness of the preventative products available in this area is crucial to ensure owners are giving their pets the best chance of avoiding tick or flea borne diseases and reducing the risk of them being bitten.”

To support the launch of the ‘No Bite Is Right’ campaign, a series of educational ‘Tick-Nic’ events will be held at locations near known tick hotspots across the UK focused on Scotland and the South West. Pet owners attending the events in each region throughout May will be encouraged to speak to their local vet practice about a suitable preventative treatment, which doesn’t require ticks to bite their pet in order to be killed.

Vet practices across the country will also be provided with a full range of campaign materials including: posters, display packs and product detailers, to ensure the ‘No Bite Is Right’ messaging is clearly communicated to your customers both in the waiting room and during consultation.

Seresto and Advantix Product Manager at Bayer Animal Health says: “With this campaign we are committed to encouraging pet owners to speak to their vet about a preventative treatment which helps protect their pet against ticks without requiring the ticks to bite.  It is important that your clients should be aware that not all tick products offer this repellency (anti-feeding) and kill affect.” 

Both Seresto and Advantix provide acaricidal (killing) and repellent (anti-feeding) contact activity against ticks, preventing repelled parasites from taking a blood meal and thereby reducing the risk of CVBD. Transmission time of CVBDs varies widely from a few hours to 48 hours or more. Seresto is the first and only product to offer tick repellency in cats and can also be used on dogs.  Advantix  is for use on dogs only.

 ‘No Bite Is Right’ is part of Bayer Animal Health’s wider ‘It’s a Jungle Out There’ parasite protection initiative. You can help spread the word, and read the experiences of other vets and owners at www.facebook.com/jungleforpets or by following ‘JungleForPets’ on Twitter.

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