AN AIREBOROUGH based vets practice is reporting a 'staggering' increase in dog and cat ticks.

White Cross Vets at Guiseley has treated 26 pets between this January and August - compared to just eight during the same period in 2014.

And across all 11 of the family-run company's practices in the country there was an overall increase from 86 cases to 271, a 215 per cent rise.

Those rises chime with the findings of a national Big Tick study conducted by Bristol University.

It found that of nearly 15,000 dogs from around the UK, randomly tested during vet visits, just under a third were carrying a tick.

White Cross Vets Vet Tom Ward said: "Unfortunately ticks are now spreading widely across cats and dogs in both urban and rural areas, so it’s essential owners check their pets regularly.

"As well as making pets unwell, ticks can also pass on dangerous diseases to the rest of the family.

“As always prevention is the best option and the best thing is to give your pet a regular treatment to ward off ticks, fleas and worms.

"All good vets will advise on the best option for the particular type and size of pet.

“Our figures show an increase in the number of pets being brought into see us to remove ticks, but there are many more pets going untreated."

Ticks can carry a range of diseases including Lyme disease which can cause serious health problems, such as meningitis and heart failure, in humans.