Tick season is here

The weather has finally been warmer, and the ground and wooded areas are thawing out. With the thaw comes an unwanted danger, ticks.

Temperatures are consistently warming, especially at night. Over the next week, overnight lows will not drop below freezing. This means that tick activity will be increasing, and the ticks around here carry Lyme disease.

Rachel Sparke, a Veterinarian at Roseland Animal Hospital, encounters cases of Lyme disease throughout spring, and says, "In this area, near Roseland animal hospital, I tell people that if you're anywhere north of my clinic, you have Lyme disease risk. So if you go to St. Pats Park, there are diagnosed cases of humans contracting it. Isaac Walton, Clay Park or anywhere in this area there's Lyme disease."

Just last year, thirteen children contracted Lyme disease at St. Pats Park. If you're out in the woods, always be sure to thoroughly check yourself afterwards.

Keep your pets in mind as well. Dogs have the highest risk while running through brush and forests. Over the next six weeks, Veteranarian, Rachel Sparke, thinks dogs have a high risk of contracting Lyme disease.

"Symptoms in dogs can go from lameness, so either they're limping, they have some swelling or pain in the leg. They could have vomiting and diarrhea. We've had a few cases where they're just screaming in pain, and you can't find a source. Sometimes they're just sluggish and sleeping a lot," Sparke explains.     

To keep your pet safe from ticks, make sure to check them after they are outside. Ticks burrow towards warm parts of the body, so check face, neck, ears, armpits and between front and back legs. You can do this by parting their hair or using a flea comb. Of course, always keep your pet up to date on their tick protection medicine, as well.

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