Study finds Cavapoo and Cockapoo dogs at high risk of tick infestation

Study finds Cavapoo and Cockapoo dogs at high risk of tick infestation

New research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) indicates that some designer crossbreeds, such as Cavapoo, Cockapoo, Goldendoodle, and Cavachons, face a heightened risk of tick infestation owing to their Poodle lineage. The study identifies Standard Poodles as the second most vulnerable breed to tick infestation, suggesting that ticks find their curly coats particularly enticing.

Dr Dan O’Neill, Associate Professor of Companion Animal Epidemiology at RVC and lead author of the study, said, “There is no single perfect dog breed so it is critical that we fully understand the strengths and weaknesses for the breed we choose to bring into our own family. Owners of dogs that are either Poodle or have Poodle heritage can now be aware of the need to routinely check their dogs for ticks and to perhaps ensure the coats of these dogs are kept short.”

The RVC’s VetCompass study analysed a random selection of anonymised veterinary health records from over 900,000 dogs in the UK.

Designer breeds and poodles were far from the only ones to face a heightened risk of tick infestations. Other breeds found particularly at risk include the Cairn Terrier, Standard Poodle, Parson Russell Terrier, Golden Retriever, and Miniature Schnauzer.

Conversely, breeds with the lowest risk included the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Chihuahua, and English Bulldog. Male dogs exhibited a 1.24 times higher risk compared to females. Dogs with medium-length coats and those with drop or long, floppy ears also faced elevated risks of tick infestation.

Bill Lambert, Health, Welfare and Breeding Services Executive at The Kennel Club, added, “Ticks aren’t just pests that feast on your dog and cause them to itch; they can also be carriers of serious diseases. They can be dangerous for any age of dog and indeed any breed – although as this paper shows some dogs can be more susceptible to picking them up due to their coat – so it’s important owners know what to do if they spot one.”

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