Lyme Disease Prevention and Education
Now that summer is in full swing, we would like to take a moment and update you on the status of Lyme disease in northern Vermont and New Hampshire. We have seen a large number of ticks this spring despite the cold winter. The tick species include the American dog tick (pictured below)
and the black-legged deer tick (pictured below).
The black-legged deer tick will look much different after it is engorged from feeding (see below).
We have also seen a significant increase in the cases of Lyme disease in our area in 2014. Due to the increased number of ticks and increased incidents of Lyme disease, it is even more important to protect your pets against ticks.
Step 1: Perform regular "tick checks". You should examine your dog for ticks after every walk.
Step 2: Use tick repellents and preventatives. There are many products available to help prevent ticks from attaching to your pet. There are a variety of products that can either be applied topically or given orally. Ask one of our staff members which product is best for your pet.
Step 3: Have your dog vaccinated against Lyme disease. Every dog in our area should be vaccinated against Lyme disease. The vaccine successfully prevents the disease in most cases. If your dog has not had a Lyme vaccine in the past or if it has been more than a year since their last Lyme vaccine, please call us to schedule an appointment.
Step 4: Protect yourself! Ticks love people just as much as they love dogs, and Lyme disease is a concern for humans as well.
Please take some time to visit tickencounter.org to learn more about how to protect yourself and your pets from ticks and tickborne illness
Finally, be on the lookout for a new tick moving into our area. The Lone Star Tick has been seen in southern Vermont and along the coast of Maine. It is only a matter of time before it arrives here. This tick carries several diseases that can affect both humans and animals. If you see a Lone Star Tick (pictured below), don't dispose of it! Enclose the tick between two pieces of scotch tape and bring it in to the clinic for identification.
Oh, and just in case you thought the freezing cold of winter would "kill off" the ticks? check out this video from tickencounter.org!