Veterinarians remind owners to protect pets from ticks

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With the unofficial start to summer this weekend, there is a reminder for everyone headed outdoors especially if you plan on bringing your pets.

Ticks are back in a big way. After a mild winter, veterinarians are already seeing them on animals and this year comes with a new concern. The Ohio Department of Health confirms black legged ticks, also known as deer ticks, are in Franklin County. Veterinarians say it’s important to protect your pets.

“Almost daily we find ticks on dogs,” said Dr. John Worman from the Gahanna Animal Hospital. He says he typically finds brown dog ticks on animals.

“We’ve seen as many as 200 ticks on one dog. That’s just overwhelming to see that kind of heavy burden,” he said.

This summer there is another tick making its way through Franklin County.

“The black legged tick and the deer tick are the ones we don’t want to see,” Worman said. “That’s the same tick.”

These ticks carry Lyme disease–and, according to the Ohio Department of Health, they’re in several Ohio counties.

The best way to protect your dog is to keep them out of the woods or high grass. Dr. Worman says you can vaccinate them for Lyme Disease and you should always do daily checks.

If you find a tick, you shouldn’t use your hands to pull it out.

“You squeeze the body of the tick and you basically inject the saliva into the human or the dog that is holding onto it. That saliva is basically what’s carrying whatever bacteria the tick is carrying,” Worman said.

He said you should also avoid old wives’ tails like using Vaseline, nail polish, or burning them. Use tweezers to remove them instead.

If you find a tick, don’t panic.

“If they are attached for 12 hours or less there is very minimal disease exposure. They have got to be on more than 12 hours and probably more than 24.”

When it comes to getting rid of the tick, don’t step on it. Ticks are durable creatures and might just walk away. Dr. Worman says you can flush them, or stick them in alcohol to kill them.

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