Could 2012 be the worst year for ticks?

Dog Walking by PetWatch 916With the unpredictible weather, I think the creatures in our world are just as confused as we are.  One week we’re wearing shorts, and the next we’re carrying an umbrella.  Remember on June 5, 2011 when the Sacramento SPCA had their annual Doggy Dash event in the rain?  Or how about this past winter holiday season when it felt like fall weather in December?  Whatever the weather pattern used to be, it seems to be no more, and it is giving seasonal creatures more time to do what they do.  This is important because these creatures can be harmful to you as well as your pets.

If you and your pets are outdoors when the weather is nice, tick prevention is really important in order to prevent contracting diseases they carry.  I found this good article from MSNBC on “10 Tips to Beat the Ticks,” and thought it is worth sharing with you!  http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/21/11309970-10-tips-to-beat-the-ticks

To take it one step further, if you do find a tick on you or your pet, here is an article from Dr. Fosters and Smith on how you can remove and kill it!

“To remove an attached tick, use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers or special tick removal instruments. These special devices allow one to remove the tick without squeezing the tick body. This is important as you do not want to crush the tick and force harmful bacteria to leave the tick and enter your pet’s bloodstream.

  1. Grab the tick by the head or mouth parts right where they enter the skin. Do not grasp the tick by the body. 
  2. Without jerking, pull firmly and steadily directly outward. Do not twist the tick as you are pulling. 
  3. Using methods such as applying petroleum jelly, a hot match, or alcohol will NOT cause the tick to ‘back out.’ In fact, these irritants may cause the tick to deposit more disease-carrying saliva in the wound. 
  4. After removing the tick, place it in a jar of alcohol to kill it. Ticks are NOT killed by flushing them down the toilet. 
  5. Clean the bite wound with a disinfectant. 
  6. Wash your hands thoroughly.

Please do not use your fingers to remove or dispose of the tick. We do not want you in contact with a potentially disease-carrying tick. Do NOT squash the tick with your fingers. The contents of the tick can transmit disease.

Once an embedded tick is manually removed, it is not uncommon for a welt and skin reaction to occur. A little hydrocortisone spray will help alleviate the irritation, but it may take a week or more for healing to take place. In some cases, the tick bite may permanently scar leaving a hairless area. This skin irritation is due to a reaction to tick saliva. Do not be worried about the tick head staying in; it rarely happens.”

I hope this helps you to plan for a safe and fun summer!

Kristina

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