Some people gave up alcohol for dry January last month. But, if they were living in the Algarve, they would not have experienced similar weather.
With the rain and the sun and the rain and the sun, we are expecting our cute little arachnid friends to return soon. Not the cuddly scorpion, nor the fluffy spiders, but rather the endearing and ever-so-cute TICKS. Yes, those no-headed, eight-legged charming blood-suckers are heading to a pet near you.
As well as being pleasing to the eye and touch, ticks in the Algarve carry delightful, deadly diseases in their salivary glands. There are a number of organisms that they can carry and transmit to their varied hosts. These hosts include dogs, cats, horses and humans (!) – I know a few clients who have been in hospital with Borreliosis (or Lymes disease) and it doesn’t sound like my idea of fun.
The diseases ticks spread in animals cause symptoms ranging from general malaise and inappetence to anaemia, anal seepage and death … all in time for Valentine’s Day! OK, you got me, the second one is a very uncommon clinical finding and, yes, I just threw it in for comical effect.
But wait … there are ways to protect your pet from these little (blood) suckers. There are collars, spot-ons and tablets available to help you and your furry mate. This author finds that new-age tablets work the best for tick prevention. I am not allowed to name any brands by law, so they include Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard and Simparica. They are all similar in their efficacy. Bravecto is the only one that lasts for three months, so we tend to promote it.
There are other disease vectors heading your way this springtime. Make sure to tune in next month for another riveting instalment on parasites.
Go on and have a lovely Valentine’s Day, whether it be with your lover, your family, your pet, your kids, on your own, or covered in ticks. Just don’t confuse these various categories, they are distinctly different. See you next month.
Lagos Vet Clinic
+351 282 782 282