Tick season is here and an increase in tick bites so early in the season is already raising the concerns of health officials. More tick bites mean more cases of Lyme Disease eventually developing. Anyone who has suffered from this disease in its later stages will tell you that precautions are to be heeded for both humans and pets.
South Central New York State is one of the places reporting the increase in tick bites this year. With New York State being second in the nation when it comes to reported Lyme Diseases case, this is cause for concern. More than a quarter of all the Lyme Disease cases in the country are reported in this area, with the number of cases at about 6,000, according to ABC News.
Wisconsin is reporting cases up 35% over the year before, with all the New England States also noting increases. Ticks are out in early spring and stay active through the beginning of the fall. Lyme Disease mimics the symptoms of the flu in its early stages, such as lethargy, muscle aches, fever and headaches. In later stages it acts like arthritis, where it attacks your joints. In the very late stages Lyme Disease attacks your organs, like your heart and your brain.
When bitten by a tick, you are told to look for a bulls-eye rash to form around the site of the bite, but this does not always manifest. Many people have been bitten by ticks without even realizing that they have.
Lyme Disease in your dog usually appears very quickly. Your animal becomes extremely lethargic and then he has trouble getting up from a laying down position or doesn’t get up at all.
Antibiotics cures Lyme Disease in both people and dogs, dogs in particularly show marked improvements overnight with the antibiotics on board. People start to feel better after a few days, depending on how far the Lyme Disease has progressed.
If you have dogs and live in an area that has a tick population, your chance of exposure to a tick becomes greater. The dog can bring the tick in on it’s fur and the tick can get on you from your dog.
One way to avoid being bitten by a tick is to take precautions after coming in from the outside after walking among high grass or wooded areas.
Start off by brushing your dogs before you let them back into your house. A tick falls onto the dog when the animal brushes up against grass, leaves or any other foliage that harbors ticks. A tick takes hours before it attaches itself to the dog, so brushing it off the dog’s fur is one easy way to eliminate the tick from biting your dog or entering your home and biting you eventually.
People spending time out in a wooded or grassy area should use a tick repellent and still make sure they brush their clothes off before coming back into the house. The tick is about as small as the head of a pin before it attaches itself to a food source and becomes engorged with blood, so they are hard to see.
Keeping a clothes brush by the door and using it when coming in from an outing in an area that may have ticks is another simple precaution to take.
Tags: Disease, Lyme Disease, Tick Bites