Researchers at Bristol University recently carried out the largest survey of ticks on dogs and have just published their findings, with the shocking news that these pernicious disease carriers have been found on one-third of dogs

Nearly 15,000 dogs from across the UK were studied in random checks at the vets in the Big Tick Project and 31% were found to be carrying a tick. The highest risk areas were in Scotland, the South West and East Anglia.

Why is this news so worrying?

Ticks carry a number of diseases that can affect both dogs and humans. One particular disease that is fast growing in prominence with many high-profile sufferers is Lyme disease. Symptoms can range from joint pain, headaches and fatigue, to even more serious health conditions such as heart failure and meningitis.

Even more concerning is the finding that dogs in urban areas are just as prone to picking up ticks as those in rural surroundings.

How will I know if I have Lyme disease?

The Lyme disease bacteria is transferred by the bite of an infected tick. The NHS estimates that there are 3,000 new cases every year in the UK, but it is thought that the numbers are much higher as many sufferers are not aware of the initial infection and symptoms can often be confused with a number of other conditions.

Often there is a red, bullseye-shaped rash around the bite that typically develops within the first few days, but this is not always the case. Infected patients can then develop flu-like symptoms and often experience joint and muscle aches.

If caught soon after the initial infection, Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, but many patients do not receive treatment early enough and go on to experience physical and cognitive symptoms that are very distressing and greatly impact on the person’s ability to perform normal, everyday activities.

Lyme disease is now receiving greater attention as more and more high-profile sufferers of the chronic, long-term form of the disease have come forward. John Caudwell, the billionaire Phones 4U founder, has announced that 11 members of his family are suffering from the disease and believes that it can also be passed through pregnancy and sexual contact Bella Hadid, who this week won GQ’s Model of the Year award, has documented her experiences and that of her mother Yolanda Foster.

More media coverage of this distressing health concern can only prompt further research into Lyme disease, particularly in terms of effective treatment. Vitamin drip therapy provides essential nutrients that can boost the immune system and improve physical and cognitive function and many sufferers of Lyme disease are now looking to complement conventional medical treatment with its benefits.

Facebook: Is your chance of catching Lyme disease greater than you thought?Bristol Uni scientists have found that ticks reside on one-third of our beloved pet dogs and living in the city is no protection. This worrying statistic could explain the growing rise in cases of Lyme disease, a devastating health condition that significantly impairs physical and mental function.