Dog owners warned of fatal tick-borne disease canine babesiosis which is likely to spread around UK

By Lucy Clarke-Billings

Professor Richard Wall, from the University of Bristol, said: “The recent Babesia cases in Essex are of huge significance.

“The fact that we now appear to have established populations of the tick Dermacentor reticulatus acting as vectors of the introduced pathogen Babesia canis is a new and important development and a major concern for animal health.”


Dog owners warned about new tick disease

Prof Richard Wall is professor of zoology at the University of Bristol. He is helping to conduct the largest ever veterinary study of ticks and tick-borne diseases, called the Big Tick Project.

“People who work on ticks and tick-borne diseases are concerned about this outbreak. It could be the tip of the iceberg. If it spreads quickly throughout the UK then it is going to be a very significant problem, but we don’t have enough info at this stage to make a prediction about how quickly this will happen.

“It’s highly unlikely that the problem will now disappear, we have the vectors, we have the pathogens established in the UK.”