As the temperatures begin to rise, the eight-legged critters are emerging from their winter slumber. Hide your pets! Ticks are on the move and hungry for blood.
This year is supposed to be the worst yet! The summer temperatures are rising and winters have become milder. Deer populations are increasing and migratory birds are on the move. This is causing ticks to establish sooner and in new areas. Parasitologists have seen an explosion in tick populations over the past ten years for these reasons and predict that it will only continue to worsen.
So what does this mean for us and our pets? Well, ticks are the vectors for diseases like Lyme, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis. These are diseases that can cause major illness in people and animals. Lyme disease is the major tick-borne disease in the Northeast and is often more problematic for humans than for animals.
So what do we do? Preventive medicine! The best way to protect ourselves and our pets is to take the necessary precautions. Our pets should be treated with tick preventives during the warmer months. Your veterinarian can advise you of what treatment is best for your pet. By keeping ticks off our pets we also prevent them from coming into our home. When outdoors, especially in wooded areas, we should use adequate insect deterrents on ourselves. We should also examine our dogs for hitchhiking ticks after each walk.
With tick numbers climbing, we can’t help but be overly cautious. We need to be proactive and keep those buggers at bay for the safety of ourselves and our four-legged friends!