Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The epidemiology of tick infestation in dog breeds in the UK

O'Neill, Daniel; Komutrattananon, R; Hartley, AN; Brodbelt, DC; Church, DB


Daniel O'Neill

R Komutrattananon

AN Hartley

DC Brodbelt

DB Church


Objectives: The purpose of this study is to report the prevalence and risk factors for tick infestation in
dogs in the UK based on anonymised electronic patient records.
Materials and Methods: Clinical records of dogs under veterinary care in 2016 at clinics participating
in the VetCompass Programme were followed over a 5-year
period to identify cases of tick infestation.
Risk factor analysis used multivariable logistic regression modelling.
Results: The study included 905,553 dogs. From a random sample, 1903 tick infestation cases were
identified. The estimated 5-year
(2014 to 2018) period prevalence was 2.03% (95% confidence interval:
2.00 to 2.06). Sixteen breeds showed increased odds compared with non-designer-
dogs. Breeds with the highest odds included Cairn terrier (odds ratio 2.86, 95% confidence interval
1.64 to 4.98), standard poodle (odds ratio 2.80, 95% confidence interval 1.25 to 6.29) and Goldendoodle
(odds ratio 2.63, 95% confidence interval 1.17 to 5.91). Six breeds showed reduced odds,
with lowest odds shown by Staffordshire bull terrier (odds ratio 0.35, 95% confidence interval 0.25 to
0.50), Rottweiler (odds ratio 0.35, 95% confidence interval 0.15 to 0.85) and Chihuahua (odds ratio
0.38, 95% confidence interval 0.26 to 0.55). Males had 1.24 (95% confidence interval 1.13 to 1.36)
times the odds of females. Compared with non-designer-
dogs, designer-crossbreed
dogs had
increased odds (odds ratio 1.81, 95% confidence interval 1.52 to 2.15). Compared with breeds with
short coats, breeds with medium length coats (odds ratio 2.20, 95% confidence interval 1.96 to 2.48)
showed increased odds. Breeds with V-shaped
drop and pendulous ear carriage had higher odds compared
with breeds with erect ear carriage.
Clinical Significance: These findings provide an evidence base for veterinary professionals to raise
awareness of tick infestation as a preventable disorder in dogs in the UK and to support more effective
prevention and therapeutic protocols based on targeted approaches.


O'Neill, D., Komutrattananon, R., Hartley, A., Brodbelt, D., & Church, D. (2024). The epidemiology of tick infestation in dog breeds in the UK. Herpetological Conservation and Biology,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 14, 2024
Online Publication Date Apr 24, 2024
Publication Date Apr 24, 2024
Deposit Date Apr 24, 2024
Publicly Available Date Apr 24, 2024
Journal Journal of Small Animal Practice
Publisher Herpetological Conservation and Biology
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations