Tick Season and Our Fur-Babes
Below is some helpful information about tick season that we obtained from the AKC.org website. With some areas having warmer winters, tick season can now start much earlier than normal.
Since our pups are particularly susceptible to tick bites, it's important to be on high alert. They are common throughout the USA, but there are certain areas in the county more prone to tick problems. If you live in a state where Lyme Disease cases are high or rising, you should be more vigilant and take whatever preventative measures possible to protect your pets.
There are at least fifteen species of tick in the United States. A few of these are considered harmful to humans and dogs as follows:
American Dog Tick is the most common tick in Pennsylvania, found throughout the state. It’s also common in Southern states and coastal areas and is one of the most common ticks in Virginia. Although not a transmitter of Lyme disease, these ticks can transmit other serious, often deadly diseases to humans and dogs.
Lone Star Tick lives in the underbrush in wooded areas and along rivers and creeks, although in Pennsylvania, it’s been reported near urban areas. It’s also found in eastern areas of Virginia, east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lone star ticks can transmit diseases, including ehrlichiosis and tularemia, to dogs and humans.
Black-legged Tick is commonly called the “deer tick” and can carry Lyme disease. It’s found all over the Northeast and has recently expanded its range. Infestations have been found in several parts of Pennsylvania—north, central, and south—and northern parts of Virginia, including suburban areas.
It’s important to remove the tick promptly and correctly. Use rubbing alcohol on the area and delicately remove the tick with tick removal tools, making sure you also remove the head. If you’re unsure how to do this properly, have your vet show you. Then you’ll be ready for next time—which as much as we hope that won't happen, if you have a pup who goes out and about with you, it could happen again.
AKC recommends that you:
Check your dog for ticks daily, or more if they spend a lot of time outside
Keep yard mown and remove tall weeds
To protect yourself, wear long pants and socks when out in woods or fields
Your vet can recommend topical or systemic tick-control treatments. Be diligent and make sure to keep treatments up-to-date.
Have your vet test for tick-borne diseases annually, even if your dog shows no symptoms.