NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– At the Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine in North Haven, doctors are busy giving tick exams. Dr. Julia Shakeri with the Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine said, “I think we are seeing it a lot more this time of year than maybe in other years, just because of mild winter and the higher tick populations.”
Doctors are diagnosing a variety of tick-borne diseases in dogs. Dr. Shakeri added, “Lyme is the most common, we have Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasma, Babesiosis, Tick Paralysis. Those are going to be the most common.”
Dogs can get sick, just like people.
“They might have joint pain, neuralgic signs. Most dogs are just going to be quiet, painful, lame and have a fever,” said Dr. Shakeri. Dr. Shakeri told News 8 checking your dog for ticks should be part of your daily routine.
Dr. Shakeri said, “Anywhere that is dark and warm. so we will see them in the arm pits, on the face, in the ears, on the ears, kind of in the groin area. They can be anywhere.”
Dog owners said they check their dogs after outdoor playtime. Jeff Ahern said, “He likes to be touched so it is really easy to examine him from head to toe.”
Troy Stamey added, “I brush through him and make sure there is no ticks, just seeing if there is any ticks there and if there is taking it off.”
The American Kennel Club recommends the following steps for safely removing ticks from your dog:
- Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick, but not just any tweezers will work. Most household tweezers have large, blunt tips. You should use fine-point tweezers, to avoid tearing the tick and spreading possible infections into the bite area.
- Spread your dog’s fur, then grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Very gently, pull straight upward, in a slow, steady motion. This will prevent the tick’s mouth from breaking off and remaining embedded in the skin.
- Another option that is even easier to master is the use of a tick removal hook. It’s especially useful if you live in a tick-dense area where you dog is frequently playing host to the vexing little critters. There are several types of hooks, like the Tick Twister or the Tick Stick. You simply put the prongs on either side of the tick and twist upward.
- Never remove a tick with your fingers—it’s not only ineffective, the squeezing may further inject infectious material.
- After you’ve removed the tick, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly, clean the bite site with rubbing alcohol, and rinse the tweezers or tool with disinfectant.
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