Lyme disease bearing ticks... a problem for pet owners - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Lyme disease bearing ticks... a problem for pet owners

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Now that spring is returning, so are the nasty ticks looking to latch on to pets in Michiana. Veterinarians are warning pet owners to stay up to date on their pets vaccinations, because ticks can easily spread Lyme disease to animals, and humans alike. Veterinarians say many ticks are seen in parks like Potato State Creek National Park, where there is a lot of grass. 

Veterinarian Dr. Sara Granberg says people usually find out their animal has a tick by petting them, because animals show no signs of irritation once a tick latches on. So be sure to check your animal frequently, especially around the neck and the ears.

Ticks are either small, and can be as large as the size of a grape. Granberg says the larger ticks, usually deer ticks, are the ones that carry lyme disease. She says to simply pull the tick off. There is no reason to believe the head is latched on. "Ticks heads do not latch onto the animal. If anything, just the teeth. After you remove a tick from your pet, clean off the area of the skin and just apply an antibiotic ointment like neosporin two to three times a day," says Granberg.

Dr. Dennis Mattern of Bremen Animal Clinic says he's been vaccinating many dogs in Michiana for lyme disease prevention. "The vaccine is 80% effective," he says. Many of the dogs he's been treating with ticks and lyme disease have been exposed to them at Potato Creek State Park. "Any park, forest, or wooded area your animal goes, they're at risk," he says.

The best prevention for your animal is preventative medicine to deter ticks from latching on to the animal. Second is the lyme disease vaccination.

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