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Designer dog breeds ‘more prone’ to tick infestations

Designer dog breeds with curly coats are more susceptible to tick infestations, new research reveals.

Research by the Royal Veterinary College, which looked at vet records from more than 900,000 dogs in the UK, reveals that new designer cross breeds are all at higher risk of tick infestation because of their poodle heritage.

Cavapoos were the breed with the highest rates of tick infestation, with 5.19% of dogs diagnosed over a five-year period.

The breeds with the highest rates of tick infestations were: goldendoodle and standard poodle (5.14%), cairn terrier (5.09%), cockapoo (4.79%), miniature schnauzer (4.38%), and cavachon (4.29%).

Designer breeds overall had 1.81 times the risk of getting a tick infestation compared with crossbred dogs, the study found.

In addition, the study found that some longer established breeds were also at high risk, including the cairn terrier, standard poodle, parson russell terrier, golden retriever, and miniature schnauzer.

In comparison, the breeds with the lowest odds include the Staffordshire bull terrier, rottweiler, chihuahua and English bulldog.

The research also reveals that male dogs are 1.24 times more likely to suffer a tick infestation compared to females.

Dr Dan O’Neill, lead author of the study, said owners of dogs that are poodle or of poodle heritage should “be aware of the need to routinely check their dogs for ticks and to perhaps ensure the coats of these dogs are kept short”.

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