How to protect your pets from ticks

Dogs are very prone to getting ticks and tickborne diseases.

Scientists are predicting more ticks will be carrying viruses this year due to an abundance of acorns in the northeast which fueled the white-footed mice population. Ticks can attach to the mice and acquire Lyme disease.

Researchers are also concerned there will be more ticks transmitting Powassan virus (POW), which is linked to vomiting, fever, seizures and memory loss. About half of survivors have permanent neurological symptoms and 10 percent of all cases are fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There is no vaccine or medication to prevent or treat POW, CDC reports.

While people have limited options on protecting themselves from POW, there isn't much to worry about when it comes to pets as POW hasn't been detected in animals such as dogs, cats or horses. However, dogs are known to carry Lyme disease.

Vaccines for dogs aren't available for all tickborne diseases and they also don't prevent dogs from bringing ticks into homes.

Here are 6 things you can do to prevent your pets from getting ticks, according to the CDC:

1. Check your pets daily for ticks, especially if they've been outdoors.

2. If you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away. Use tweezers to pull the tick out in a straight, steady motion. Make sure nothing is left behind to prevent any infections.

3. Ask your veterinarian to conduct a tick check at each exam.

4. Talk to your veterinarian about tickborne diseases in your area. 

5. Reduce tick habitat in your yard such as wooded areas, leaf debris and grassy areas.

6. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick preventatives on your pet. Be very careful with cats as they are sensitive to chemicals.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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