Local veterinarians are seeing more this year than last year. And the concern is the type of tick they’re seeing and the disease it’s known for carrying. They’re called black legged ticks or “deer ticks,” and they carry Lyme Disease. Up until about a couple years ago, local veterinarians rarely saw them, if ever. Now they’re seeing them on a daily basis.
My dogs and I get out a lot, we love going to the state park, and walking the wooded trails near our home, but recently we are finding numerous ticks! So far this year we have had 9 ticks between the dogs and the kiddos. It feels as though we are being attacked.
With the long winter, many people assumed the ticks wouldn’t be as bad this year, but a local veterinarian says the opposite has happened.
“I think what happened is the ground got so frozen, the ticks like to be buried down in the ground and so it’s made them come out even worse this year,” said a local veterinarian in town.
What’s even more troubling is the rise in black legged ticks. They’re much smaller than the common brown dog tick, but pose a bigger threat because they carry Lyme disease.
A whopping 95% of dogs show no symptoms. In fact, the veterinarian says they can live their entire lives without any problems, but the remaining five percent will get swollen joints. If the disease spreads to the kidney, it could actually be fatal to your dog.
Basically for animals the thing we want to do is we want to get them tested for sure, make sure they don’t already have it, and if they do, then we want to treat them and then make sure you’re putting on your monthly flea and tick preventative. This is something we do already, but want other people to do the same
Veterinarians say black legged ticks spread from Michigan, Wisconsin and the east coast. Deer, rodents and birds serve as hosts, allowing the tick to travel long distances.
If you find a tick on you or your pet, don’t panic. The CDC says if you remove it within 24 hours, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting Lyme Disease. You can call your local veterinarian for more information about protection for your furry companions.