Make Checking for Ticks Part of your Routine
This year has seen the start to one of the worst tick seasons in a very long time. Due to a mild winter, many ticks have survived and reproduced, leading to a higher population of this disease spreading pest. So what does this mean for those of us who like to take a stretch outside, especially with our four legged friends?
2017: The Worst Tick Season In Years And What It Means For Your Dog
The most well-known disease carried by ticks may be Lyme, which can infect dogs and humans. Most of the time a rash forms around the tick bite, but not always. Eventually, fever, headache, and lethargy appear followed by more serious symptoms like inability to move parts of the face, joint pains, heart palpitations, and memory problems. Lyme is spread by blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks, as well as western blacklegged ticks.
This is why it’s crucial that you give yourself a thorough body check once you have visited any habitat that may be prone to ticks. Then you need to check out your dog, because ‘man’s best friend’ can’t check himself.
Blacklegged ticks are the primary carriers of Lyme disease and are often found in woody areas or those with lots of brush. Stanton-Loucks said conducting “tick checks” after coming in contact with areas where they could live is important.
“You want to make sure it becomes a part of your regular routine,” she said. “There’s a risk anywhere; the messaging is: ‘ticks are here.’ We just have to be more diligent and know what to look for and how to protect yourself.”
Add this to your routine and it will become second nature. All it takes is to make something a habit to protect yourself from debilitating and sometimes life threatening tick borne disease.