(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
Tick populations are spreading, and bringing with them a rise in new cases of Lyme disease and risk of other tick-borne diseases.
Since many of us spend time outdoors to enjoy activities like hiking, camping and walking, it’s important to know what steps to take if you find a tick.
While tiny, ticks can transmit diseases to humans. For example, blacklegged ticks can be as small as a poppy seed, almost invisible to the human eye, and can transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Don’t panic — the best way to protect yourself is to prevent tick bites.
If you find a tick attached to you or your pet, remove it with tweezers immediately. Removing it right away helps to prevent infection. Store the tick in a sealed container and bring it to your doctor as it may help with a diagnosis.
Visit your healthcare professional immediately if you are not comfortable with removing the tick or you can’t remove it because it has buried itself deep into the skin. Be certain to go if you feel unwell or are concerned about your health following a tick bite.
Prevent tick bites and protect yourself and your family so you can continue to enjoy outdoor activities. Cover up by wearing closed-toe shoes and light-colored long-sleeved shirts and pants, use insect repellent containing DEET or Icaridin, and shower within two hours of being outside. Do a full-body check for ticks on yourself, your family and pets.
— News Canada
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)