Readers, the linked article is very important if you and your pets spend time outdoors together. Veterinary parasite experts warn of a tick population explosion due to milder winters, resistance to topical anti-tick and -flea treatments, and other factors. Some believe infection may transmit to the host before 24 hours elapse. Dr. Karen Becker writes an excellent overview and her tips for prevention is a must-read. Reader comments are also interesting. I will repost her tips in digest form below.

Near 100% Risk from a Parasitic Pest Now Linked to a Dozen Diseases (article link)
Link will open in a new window. Click on More… for the tips.

  • Daily, thorough tick checks are the best preventive. Check hidden areas such as between the toes and earflaps also. Use a magnifier if you can’t see it clearly. If it has legs and is embedded, it is a tick.
  • Use tick-removing tool or tweezers, or if you must use your hands, wear gloves to prevent your infection. Flush the tick down the toilet.
  • If a bite occurred, clean and disinfect the skin. Monitor the bite site for the next several days. If you see inflammation, get to the vet or the doctor right away.
  • In 3-4 weeks, a screening blood test can verify if an infection is present, even if signs of illness are not. If a bite occurred, be proactive. Remember it is likely that one infection or another is present.

Please read the entire article. Remember that ticks carry so many diseases that if a bite occurs and 24-hours elapse before removal, an infection of one kind or another is almost guaranteed.

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