There are still two things that turn my stomach a little bit; maggots and ticks. I CAN deal with them but I don’t have to be happy about it! Many areas of the country suffer heavy tick infestations from early spring all the way through to late fall. These little bloodsuckers can be responsible for a number of serious diseases in humans and animals including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, ehrlichia, babesia and tick paralysis. Removing ticks can be tricky, fortunately the fetch! petwise gadget gurus spotted the Tick Key ("We Heart This," Heart issue, page 44) to help remove them. If you don’t have a Tick Key yet, try to remove the tick with tweezers, grabbing the tick as close to the head as possible and pulling with gentle pressure. If you don’t get all of the mouth parts the first time, don’t panic; get out as much as you can and your pet’s immune system will take care of the rest. If you’re concerned (or squeamish!), consult your veterinarian.
Top Tick Diseases:
1. Lyme disease: This bacterial infection is the most common tick-borne disease in the Northern Hemisphere and infected ticks can also infect humans.
2. Anaplasmosis: This tick-borne disease affects red blood cells and can cause symptoms similar to Lyme disease.
3. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: An important tick-borne disease of humans and dogs, the name is misleading as this occurs in the East Coast, Midwest and Plains regions of the United States.
4. Babesiosis: Another red blood cell parasite, this can cause anemia and severe disease in some cases.