The lack of routine tick treatment by pet owners means there is no prevention of diseases like Babesia coming in to the UK. Babesia is a very difficult and challenging disease to manage in dogs and can be life threatening. Currently this is considered an exotic disease but the fact this has been seen in dogs that have not been abroad also is very concerning. Dogs Trust advises all pet owners to be vigilant and ensure their dogs are appropriately tick treated by their vet when travelling abroad to reduce the risk of exposure to disease such as this as well as risking bringing them back to the UK.
It was compulsory for imported dogs to be treated for ticks before entering the UK and Ireland until 2011. When this requirement was dropped to comply with EU regulations, vets warned that outbreaks of exotic tick diseases were likely to follow.