If you have a dog have you noticed more ticks lately? October and November are the months when ticks are out in force. If you think the cold will help you're only partially right.
"Cold temperatures definitely put them into a hibernation state,
but ticks have antifreeze inside them," said Dr. Mark Finkler, veterinarian with Roanoke Animal Hospital on Franklin Road.
That means ticks don't die, they hibernate. The next warm spell and they'll be out again, Dr. Finkler said.
Deer ticks can cause Lyme Disease. "We see four or five positive dogs every month at our hospital," said Dr. Finkler. While most of the dogs are not sick some do become ill.
The tough part about ticks is they live exactly where dogs like to go: in the mulch and under leaves. They like moisture which means you probably won't find them in the sunny dry part of your lawn but you might in other areas of your yard.
Because ticks are so tiny that also poses a challenge. There are topical treatments and tick collars that owners can use on their dogs, but no tick product is 100% effective, according to Dr. Finkler.
Check your dog for ticks especially if your dog has been outside in the woods. If you find a tick use pointed end tweezers to remove it. Flat ended ones can squeeze the tick saliva into your pets body, said Dr. Finkler. After the tick is off, keep an eye on your dog.
"If they get sick with tick disease at least in an acute stage they will run a fever and when that happens they won't want to eat," said Dr. Finkler. "Their joints may ache and thus they start to limp or don't want to run around and play like they used to."
Tick borne disease doesn't always show up right away. It may be several weeks, said Dr. Finkler. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. See your vet if you think your pet has become ill from a tick.
For more information on ticks click here.