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21 August 2017

England Rugby Player, Matt Dawson, Adds Support to the Big Tick Project Media Campaign after Contracting Lyme Disease

Milton Keynes, August 21, 2017 – England Rugby Player, Matt Dawson, has joined MSD Animal Health (a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA) in the new Big Tick Project media campaign to help raise awareness of the risk of ticks to pet owners. Featuring Matt Dawson, who recently contracted Lyme Disease, and wildlife expert Chris Packham the campaign focuses on generating awareness of the risk of tickborne diseases to help improve the health of the nation’s pets and owners. The campaign has been featured across TV, radio, print and on-line media.

During the interviews Matt Dawson talks about how he was bitten by a tick, his experience with Lyme disease and why he is supporting the Big Tick Project. He adds: “It was a really scary time for me and my family, and I was shocked to find out that a tick bite in Chiswick – such a tiny creature caused me to end up needing heart surgery. Even though I am free from Lyme disease now it really has impacted me. I still have to take daily medication and I now adjust my lifestyle in a number of ways.”

Amanda Melvin, Marketing Manager at MSD Animal Health explains: “This recent campaign is part of a series of high profile media campaigns that we’ve organised to help pet owners understand the risks posed by ticks and the importance of seeking advice from vets. Vet are central to this campagn. During our attendance this summer at DogFest and Countryfile Live we asked pet owners about their awareness of the risks. While this was very rough data the message that came back consistently was that many pet owners didn’t realise that not all flea treatments could also provide protection against ticks. We are therefore urging them to talk to their vet and vet nurses to better understand the treatments they are paying for. The conversation is important as the risks can be high.”

For further information on the Big Tick Project go to: www.bigtickproject.co.uk.