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Helping Keep Our Rescue Dogs In Peak Condition
Cumbria’s army of four-legged heroes are getting a helping hand to make sure they are in tiptop condition to continue their lifesaving work out on the Lake District fells.
An animal health company is providing free vaccinations for the 25 canine members of the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs Association to protect them again Lyme Disease.
The LDMRSDA aids in the search for missing people in the Lake District, particularly out on the fells.
The vaccinations are being provided by Merial Animal Health, which wants to safeguard the dogs as they carry out their duties.
Claire Edmunds, Merial Animal Health product manager, said: “Working in areas densely populated with ticks these rescue dogs are at increased risk of contracting Lyme Disease. It was therefore crucial for us to provide the dogs with this vaccine so they can continue their remarkable work within the Lake District.”
This year alone the LDMRSDA has attended 35 callouts, including a poignant rescue in June of an 80-year-old Alzheimer sufferer.
Reported missing overnight LDMRSDA were called upon to help assist Cumbria Police and Penrith Mountain Rescue with the search for this missing person.
Searching through thick vegetation and dense woodland, handler Andy Peacock and his search dog Corrie fortunately discovered the missing person and were able to successfully reunite her with her family.
Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne disease in Europe.
It is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi which can be passed onto humans or dogs following a bite from an infected tick.
They can live on sheep and deer and thrive in dense vegetation.
Tick numbers are rising across the UK due to changes in climate, habitat and increased numbers of hosts. In some parts of the UK more than 40 per cent of ticks are infected with Borrelia bacteria.
Symptoms are generally non-specific and include a high temperature, lethargy and lameness, with more serious heart, brain and kidney problems also described.
Windermere vet Clair Williams, honorary vet of the LDMRSDA, administered the vaccine to the dogs.
She said: “The association is a voluntary organisation that relies upon the generosity of public donations and support.
“As our rescue dogs are exposed to areas of heightened risk it is extremely important to protect our dogs against ticks and tick-borne disease, therefore we are extremely grateful that Merial Animal Health has provided these free vaccinations.”