Ticks are no reason to panic
Ticks have been seen in our mountainous region for longer than fleas, but again, not with the same degree of severity as in the Midwest, northeast and parts of the southeast, where Lyme disease is more prevalent.
Lyme disease is a tick-transmitted disease (which can also affect humans) that causes recurrent acute arthritis that can worsen to more severe conditions. Ticks do not cause the amount of disease, here in our valley, as in other parts of the country.
In tick-infested regions, when a pet has many ticks feeding off of its blood, there can be severe symptoms: blood loss causing anemia, paralysis and skin damage.
You may have heard about Rocky mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, tick paralysis, and other diseases caused by tick bites. Ticks are easier to find on shorter-haired dogs, but can feed for a while to grow to a larger size. Hunting breeds, of course, are at higher risk because they are likely to come in contact with environments harboring ticks.
Do not panic when you find a tick, no matter how ugly they look. You can outrun them. As soon as you see one, remove it immediately to limit the time it has to transmit toxins to your pet.
Grasp ticks close to the skin with tweezers and gently pull free. Sometimes fragments of the tic’s mouth will be embedded in the skin. Do not light a match to the tick while on the dog. Wash the feeding site with soap and water and you can apply some Neosporin. This is usually enough to prevent secondary infection.
Prevention has become the easiest way to avoid tick infestation. The products available are easy to apply and are very safe. The old-fashion bathing and dipping as a means of control have been replaced.
Find out if your pet needs protection and look over your pet after every hike.
Dr. Nadine Lober 949-7972
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