Dog Ticks a Concern
Food sources for deer are lacking in the wintertime; and because of this, deer keep coming back to properties hoping for home garden goodies. Of course, there won't be any organic food available for humans (or deer) until Spring. What we don't realize is that deer ticks are active when temperatures are above 32 degrees Fahrenheit; and as the temperatures slowly increase this winter, ticks are a concern for individuals and their pets.
By keeping deer away from our yards with fencing, we are reducing the number of deer ticks reaching our pets. Dogs and cats are able to obtain Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses just like their owners. After dogs return from outdoor playtime or walks, pet owners need to check the bodies of their pets for ticks, especially around the ears and legs.
If tick bites occur, it's important to know how to remove a tick from pets. Ticks will need to go out for testing and dogs will need to be evaluated for possible Lyme Disease by a veterinarian.
Dog Ticks A Problem
NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– At the Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine in North Haven, doctors are busy giving tick exams. Dr. Julia Shakeri with the Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine said, “I think we are seeing it a lot more this time of year than maybe in other years, just because of mild winter and the higher tick populations.”
Doctors are diagnosing a variety of tick-borne diseases in dogs. Dr. Shakeri added, “Lyme is the most common, we have Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasma, Babesiosis, Tick Paralysis. Those are going to be the most common.”
Dogs can get sick, just like people.
“They might have joint pain, neuralgic signs. Most dogs are just going to be quiet, painful, lame and have a fever,” said Dr. Shakeri. Dr. Shakeri told News 8 checking your dog for ticks should be part of your daily routine.
Dr. Shakeri said, “Anywhere that is dark and warm. so we will see them in the arm pits, on the face, in the ears, on the ears, kind of in the groin area. They can be anywhere.”
Dog owners said they check their dogs after outdoor playtime. Jeff Ahern said, “He likes to be touched so it is really easy to examine him from head to toe.”
Troy Stamey added, “I brush through him and make sure there is no ticks, just seeing if there is any ticks there and if there is taking it off.”
The American Kennel Club recommends the following steps for safely removing ticks from your dog:
- Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick, but not just any tweezers will work. Most household tweezers have large, blunt tips. You should use fine-point tweezers, to avoid tearing the tick and spreading possible infections into the bite area.
- Spread your dog’s fur, then grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Very gently, pull straight upward, in a slow, steady motion. This will prevent the tick’s mouth from breaking off and remaining embedded in the skin.
- Another option that is even easier to master is the use of a tick removal hook. It’s especially useful if you live in a tick-dense area where you dog is frequently playing host to the vexing little critters. There are several types of hooks, like the Tick Twister or the Tick Stick. You simply put the prongs on either side of the tick and twist upward.
- Never remove a tick with your fingers—it’s not only ineffective, the squeezing may further inject infectious material.
- After you’ve removed the tick, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly, clean the bite site with rubbing alcohol, and rinse the tweezers or tool with disinfectant.
Story re-posted from News 8. Written by Noelle Gardner
Dog Tick Disease Spreads
TOKUSHIMA – A man in his 40s in Tokushima Prefecture has acquired the tick-borne disease known as severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or SFTS, through contact with a dog, local government said Tuesday.
It is the first case of the infection transmitted through a dog, according to the health ministry. The man suffered from fever and vomiting but has already recovered.
In late June, the dog was diagnosed with the SFTS virus after the man took it to a veterinary hospital, the prefectural government said.
The pet owner first reported feeling ill in mid-June and took a blood test after the dog was found to be infected with the SFTS virus. The test result showed in late September that the man was also infected.
He did not have any apparent signs of mite bites. But SFTS virus antibodies detected in the blood test suggest that he had been infected within the previous few months.
The infection may have entered his body through his mouth or a break in the skin.
The dog is a house pet, which likely became infected while it was out for a walk.
Seventy cases of SFTS infections have been recorded this year, bringing the total to about 300 since the first confirmed case in Japan in 2013.
In July, the ministry said a woman in her 50s died of a tick-borne disease last year after being bitten by a stray cat when she was trying to carry it to a veterinary hospital. Tissue samples showed she was infected with the SFTS virus, the world’s first confirmed case of the illness being contracted from a mammal.
Story re-posted from Japan News.