.. This is a map of Lyme disease prevalence among dogs in New York State for 2011. For more information or to research prevalence of other parasites in Wayne County, visit http://www.capcvet.org/parasite-prevalence-maps/.
Media and various organizations have mentioned ticks many times this year already, and it’s been for good reason. Because of the mild winter and early warmer weather we have experienced in New York State, ticks have been out sooner than normal. As the temperatures continue to rise, here are some things pet owners might not know about these pesky parasites.
Ticks are members of the spider family.
More than 800 species of ticks have been found worldwide.
Ticks spread disease by feeding on a host’s blood.
Adult ticks are found most often on the head and between the toes of the host animal.
DEET is effective in keeping ticks off people, but it is not recommended for use on pets because of its potential for poisoning.
According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, 1 out of 13 dogs tested positive for Lyme disease in 2011 in Wayne County alone.
If you find a tick on your pet, it should be removed, but very carefully. Twisting the tick’s body, burning the tick or applying alcohol or Vaseline is not recommended because this could cause the tick to release bacteria into the host, causing further problems. (Not to mention, you could injure your pet!) It is best to grab the tick as close to the skin as possible using a pair of fine tweezers and then pulling straight away. Again, this can be a difficult thing to do and it is important to keep the tick from breaking open. It is recommended to consult your veterinarian for assistance removing ticks.
Have your pets ever had a tick? What do you wish you knew about this parasite?
As always, your veterinarian is your best source of information regarding the health of your pet.