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TICKS, DOGS, AND US
The news in regions of the USA and Canada is about “tick season” and it appears to be getting worse. I can believe it, having lived both a long time and in various latitudes.
July 2, 2018 | TheDogPress.com
Fred Lanting, All-Breed Judge,
Lyme Disease—have increasingly become serious problems for dog owners and the
general public. Lyme and other tick-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted
fever accounted for 75% of what the CDC calls “vector-borne disease cases.”
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection resulting from a bite from an infected
blacklegged tick. Symptoms
resemble those of the flu including fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and
joint aches, and a rash that's sometimes shaped like a bull's eye.
Because of the flu-like symptoms, it is often undiagnosed until the condition
gets much worse and treatments for other disorders prove ineffective.
Only blacklegged ticks (and
not all of them) carry the Lyme Disease bacteria so check your own state. In
some states the incidence has more than tripled. It boils down to this: all
ticks are irritating and certain breeds of ticks bring serious health risks.
Some ticks take a long time to find and they feed on blood. Ticks deposit germs
and virus particles while they do their little vampire-thing. If you can remove
ticks in the first day or two, you stand a good chance of avoiding enough
antigen (“bad stuff”) to prevent disease. Daily inspection and removal is
imperative, regardless of what preventive measures you are also taking.
How To Safely Remove Ticks And Prevent
have found the best tool to pick off ticks is a tweezers with a very sharp
point. You need this in case the pincers or head stays imbedded in the skin when
you pull the body off. Otherwise, you’ll get worse inflammation and related
problems. Grab the rascals as close to their biting parts as you can.
You undoubtedly will miss a
tick or two even if you examine daily and have a small short-haired dog. So, a
couple times during the tick season, you might also consider increasing the
amount of ivermectin you administer for intestinal-and heart-worm prevention. It
does a pretty good job killing or inhibiting ticks, as well as the microfilaria.
Do a computer search or go to
www.thedogplace.org/parasites/ivermectin-wormer.asp for my articles on
ivermectin. Make sure you kill the ticks before you put them in the garbage or
toilet bowl… pierce them with the tweezers because they can still survive if you
only pull some legs off.
Possible Alternative To DEET Tick Spray
A woman in Nova Scotia is
trying to get government approval to market an anti-tick spray. Her mix
“AtlanTick” is awaiting approval by Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency.
Canada and western Europe are famous for pushing “herbal” approaches and trying
to avoid synthetic (man-made) chemical ones that might be more effective but are
disliked by some—especially neo-hippie generations.
The Canadian entrepreneur and
another researcher (at Acadia University) claim their spray repelled about 75%
of the tested ticks, compared to DEET (diethyltoluamide), which reportedly
repels 100%. She says she wanted to find an alternative to putting DEET or other
“chemicals” on her son’s skin, ignoring the fact that her “natural” ingredients
are also “chemicals”! (An aside: as a chemist, I feel like shaking my
head when people misuse or redefine words such as these.) Anyway, she was driven
to her research because her eldest son continues to live with the symptoms of
Lyme disease, since antibiotics were not completely effective in his case.
tips usually tell you to use repellents, wear light-colored, long-sleeved
clothing, and tuck pant legs into socks. Cover up, even in hot weather. Wear a
hat and something around your neck to cover up even more skin; inspect your hair
when you get back from your hike or outdoor activity.
It’s good to suggest people
keep their grass cut short and not wander through tall weeds but I’ve known
ticks to fall off tree and shrub branches onto the head and upper parts of
bodies, both canine and human. In tick season, check your dog’s coat and skin,
your clothing, and your skin (naked, before a mirror), because ticks will embed
in your skin in spite of precautions. Use of insect repellants may be good
advice; CDC recommends either DEET, icaridin (trade names include Bayrepel and
Saltidin), or InsectRepellant3535 (ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate) against
ticks and at higher concentrations as IR3535 is solely a repellent, it has no
Doctors advise not using
repellants on infants. On myself, I prefer minimal use of repellants and maximal
use of washing and inspecting, but it’s up to you. Besides using a mirror and a
spouse or parent for a body check, inspect your clothing before hanging them up
again. And check your dog at least twice a day if you live “close to nature”.
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