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EMERGENCIES 01225 832521
As you may know, there have been recent reports in the British media regarding a handful of cases of canine Babesiosis in Harlow, Essex (sadly some of these dogs died).
Canine Babesiosis is a serious tick borne disease- a parasite. There are many species of both Babesia and of tick (the tick is termed the vector) but the species of Babesia found in the dogs in Essex was Babesia Canis.
Babesia Canis has not been considered to be endemic to the UK and it would rarely have been encountered in the UK (only perhaps in a very small numbers of dogs that had travelled abroad to Europe, where Babesia is endemic in a number of countries). These recent cases are unusual because the dogs had not travelled outside of the UK. It has yet to be confirmed what the source of the relevant ticks/Babesia was in these cases.
We do not want to alarm our clients as we feel the risk to their dogs of contracting Babesia canis in our local area is not high at this current time. But, to ensure that we try and provide the best possible protection for their dogs, we would recommend they consider the following:
1) Rigorous tick prevention
2) Immediate removal of ticks if seen on their dogs - our vets and nurses are happy to explain how to do this and we currently offer to remove ticks FOC.
There are a number of products available to aid in tick prevention- our nurses and vets are happy to discuss which product is most suitable for your dog.
There is no current vaccine for Babesia available in the UK. Babesia canis is not considered to cause human disease but be aware that both humans and cats may be affected by other tick borne diseases.
For more information or to book an appointment with a vet or nurse please call 01225 832521.