Animal Health Professionals Site

23 February 2015

Vets invited to be part of something big with the Bravecto® Big Tick Project

There is evidence that ticks are active earlier in the year and feeding for longer1 – increasing their potential to transmit pathogens such as Borrelia burgdorferi , the bacterium responsible for causing Lyme disease, a significant threat to both animals and humans.  Yet most people are unaware of the risks. The Big Tick Project, run by the University of Bristol in collaboration with MSD Animal Health gives veterinary practices the chance to play their part in advancing the understanding of tick-borne disease in the UK. A national campaign supported by TV presenter Chris Packham aims to highlight the problem amongst dog owners through a series of high profile media events. Sign up is free by sending practice details to

Practices taking part in the study will receive a tick collection kit and marketing support pack including access to dedicated PR services, to raise awareness of ticks within their clinic and local community. The kit includes full instructions, collection equipment and freepost packaging to allow ticks removed from dogs to be sent to the University of Bristol quickly and easily.

The Big Tick Project is being supported by naturalist and dog lover Chris Packham, who is taking part in a nationwide awareness campaign, launching in April 2015.  The planned national press coverage aims to raise dog owners’ understanding of the risks associated with ticks, and visit their veterinary surgeon for further information on how the problem can be addressed.

Professor Richard Wall from University of Bristol is asking practices to get behind the study, “For accurate results we need as many ticks as possible and I really encourage vet practices up and down the country to get involved. We need data from all types of practices ranging from urban to rural locations to help vets and human health professionals make more effective recommendations and help prevent tick-related disease.”

Nationally, tick distribution has expanded by 17% in the last 10 years and tick numbers have also increased in 73% of locations surveyed.1 There is evidence that ticks are feeding earlier in the year and feeding for longer2 – thus increasing their potential to pass on significant disease to both animals and humans.  Lyme disease in particular can be serious health issue for both humans and animals, being increasingly recognised and recorded in the UK recent years3.

Practices can experience the benefits of being part of the Big Tick Project and ensure their community is represented in the survey by emailing a contact name and their practice details to


  1. Dautel, H., Dippela, C., Kaemmer, D., Werkhausen, A., Kahl, O., 2008. Winter activity of Ixodes ricinus in a Berlin forest. I. J. Med. Microbiol, 298, 50-54.
  2. Scharlemann JPW, Johnson PJ, Smith AA, Macdonald DW, Randolph SE:  2008. Trends in Ixodid tick abundance and distribution in Great Britain. Med Vet Entomol, 22:238-47
  3. Smith, F. D.  Ballantyne, R., Morgan, R., Wall, R. (2011)  Estimating Lyme disease risk using pet dogs as sentinels.  Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 35 (2012) 163-167

Bravecto contains fluralaner. Legal category POM-V.

For further information contact MSD Animal Health, Walton Manor, Walton, Milton Keynes, MK7 7AJ or visit  Alternatively contact our Technical and Product Support Team on 01908 685685

Use medicines responsibly.  Advice should be sought from the medicine prescriber.

About MSD Animal Health

MSD Animal Health offers animal health professionals, farmers, pet owners and governments the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals.

Its strategic goal is to achieve sustained growth through the continued provision of integrated solutions to meet the evolving needs of customers. The company is committed to building the best animal health company in the industry.

Conducting business with the highest standards of quality, professionalism and integrity, MSD Animal Health offers superior high performance products and services and the most effective customer-focused service. This is accomplished through the strong science base and the company’s R&D engine, a customer-centric organisation and dedicated staff.