Ticks can transmit diseases to dogs and people. In fact, the CDC has reported that ticks in every U.S. state carry diseases and that the number of tick-borne diseases is increasing. I can testify to that as we are seeing more dogs than ever with tick transmitted diseases. At Guthrie Pet Hospital we have a simple blood test that we can perform at the clinic that checks for heartworms and six tick transmitted diseases.
There are several different species of ticks found in the United States. The Lone Star tick commonly infests dogs, cats and people. It primarily lives in wooded areas and this tick will not tolerate low humidity. The deer tick or black-legged tick transmits Lyme disease and is found in the eastern United States, but is not present in the South. The brown dog tick is unique because it can survive in low humidity environments, like your house, and survive for generations. This is one good reason to provide year around protection for your pets.
What’s the best way to remove a tick? Grasp the tick close to the skin as possible with a pair of tweezers and pull the body out with a steady motion. Dispose of the tick by placing it in alcohol or flushing it down the toilet. Many people claim that you can remove a tick with a lit match, fingernail polish or petroleum jelly. However, none of these methods work and in fact these methods can actually result in the tick releasing more disease carrying saliva into the wound which increases the risk of infection.
There are many different monthly medications that are available for treatment of ticks. If you have seen ticks on your pets, come in and have them tested and pick up some preventative medicine.
Please e-mail me with your questions at ACoffin@aol.com and put “Ask Dr. Anna” in the subject line or mail your questions to 123 West Harrison Guthrie, OK 73044.