How clean is your dog
The number of pets with potentially dangerous ticks has doubled in a year
The Big Tick Project studied more than 12,000 dogs
Almost one third of the dogs (31 per cent) were found to be carrying a tick – up from 15 per cent on a study in 2014.
In the study, 89.2 per cent of the dogs with ticks were found to be infested with the species Ixodes ricinus which is the principal carrier of Lyme disease and Anaplasma, which causes the disease anaplasmosis.
The team of scientists also identified a number of Dermacentor reticulatus ticks, which can transmit the potentially fatal disease canine babesiosis.
These were collected from dogs in Wales and South West England.
89.2 per cent of the dogs with ticks were found to be infested with the species Ixodes ricinus, the principal carrier of Lyme disease
TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham, who is part of the project, described the findings as “shocking”.
He said: “The first thing that is striking about the results is that almost one in three dogs that were taken into vets and randomly tested were carrying ticks, which is shocking.
“Also, these ticks were not just found in isolated parts of the UK, but all over the UK.
“I would say that this is a tremendously significant project. It’s the largest of its kind ever conducted in the UK and it has been extensive.
“It was well supported by vets and dog owners too and the data has been rigorously analysed by the University of Bristol.