Early Spring Means Increased Risk for Ticks!

Although most people
weren’t complaining about the warm winter and Spring’s early arrival, pet owners
are faced with a double edged sword – warm weather brings sun, short-sleeved
shirts, and an earlier risk of ticks!
“This is going to be a
horrific season, especially for Lyme,” says Leo J. Shea III, a clinical
assistant professor at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and
President of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.
Often hard to diagnose
and tricky to treat, tick-borne illnesses, including Lyme disease, can cause
symptoms that range from muscle aches and headaches to serious and long-term
complications that can affect the brain, joints, heart, nerves and muscles (wsj.com).
After a tick bite,
Lyme disease could be identified by an expanding rash that looks like a
bulls-eye. That doesn’t always happen, though. Some of the antibodies against
Lyme disease will not show up for weeks, which could cause false blood tests.
Some infections may not even be detected for months or years. When caught
early, tick-borne diseases can be treated successfully with antibiotics.
Other symptoms to look
for are fatigue, chills, fever, headache and swollen lymph nodes, which all can
go misdiagnosed.
Researchers say the
primary reasons for the global rise of tick-borne illness include the movement
of people into areas where animal hosts and tick populations are abundant and
growth in the population of animals that carry ticks, including deer, squirrels
and mice (wsj.com).
Between 1992 and 2010, reported cases of Lyme doubled, to nearly 23,000 – with
another 7,600 probable causes in 2010, according to the CDC.
Prevention is most
important, because the complex interaction between ticks, their hosts, bacteria
and habitats isn’t completely understood.
Please make sure you
check yourself and your pets regularly for ticks. This can reduce exposure
because removing them quickly can prevent the transmission of disease.
Showering or bathing quickly after being outdoors can also help was of crawling
ticks, or make it easier to find them.
If you think your pet has been bitten by a
tick and/or is showing related symptoms, please contact us at one of the
Bregman Vet Hospitals. You can also contact us to discuss preventative

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