Dogs and ticks don't really go well together. Ticks can carry many diseases that can cause many different problems in your pet. This website will give you more information regarding these diseases, their prevention, and treatment. The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) is a website that has resources for prevention & control of parasites in dogs and cats. They have references, recommendations, articles, resources, and prevelance maps.
Ten Tick Truths
10 Things Every Kid (and Parent)
Should Know About Lyme Disease:
1. Lyme Comes From Ticks. Technically speaking, Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which are carried by parasitic ticks called Ixodes, also known as black-legged or deer ticks. The bacteria live inside the tick, and can be transmitted when the tick attaches itself to a host and begins to suck up blood.
2. Ticks Are Everywhere. Lyme disease got its name from the town of Lyme, Connecticut, where it was first identified, and it’s most common in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions. But it’s been reported all over the United States — and in 50 countries around the world.
3. Ticks Are Tiny. Ixodes ticks are very, very small, especially in the first and second stage of their lives (larval and nymphal). In fact, unless they’re already engorged (full of blood), they’re much smaller than the head of a pin and nearly impossible to see. Ticks are especially good at hiding in dark places like the scalp and underarms, where you’re even less likely to find them. Kids need a head-to-toe check every time they’re out in tick territory.
4. Ticks Are Animal-Lovers. Lyme-carrying ticks are typically stowaways on deer, squirrels and mice and are most often found in areas where these animals are common. Ticks can also catch a ride on the family pet, so you should be sure to check the dog or cat every time he comes in from the outside. (Don’t mistake the ticks that transmit Lyme with the common dog tick, which is much bigger, although dog ticks may carry other diseases).
5. Ticks Dig Plants. You’ll also find plenty of ticks in wooded areas — parks and forests as well as your own backyard — and in dune grasses at the beach. Kids should stick to the trails and open areas and avoid wet, wooded areas, tall grass and leaf-littered areas.
6. Summer Is Not The ONLY Tick Time. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease are most active (and plentiful) in May, June and July and most difficult to find as they are typically in the nymphal stage. They are also out there when the ground temperature is above 35 degrees F.
7. DEET Works. You wouldn’t want to bathe in the stuff, but it’s the most effective way to repel Lymecarrying ticks. Just use it wisely: Use just enough to cover exposed skin, apply it to your own hands and then rub them on your child (avoid his eyes and mouth), don’t apply to a young child's hands (little kids often put their hands in their mouths) and don’t apply to cuts or irritated skin. (Note from Brook: They now have organic tick repellent from BioUD - see http://www.homs.com/)
8. Light Clothes are the Right Clothes. Kids should wear light-colored clothing, which makes it easier to spot ticks, with long sleeves and legs (tuck pants into socks).
9. Timing is Everything. The chances of contracting Lyme disease from an infected tick increase with the length of time it’s attached. If you find a tick, grasp it with fine-tipped tweezers and pull away from the skin without crushing its body. If you think your child was bitten by an infected tick, see the doctor right away: The sooner you begin treatment, the better.
10. Rashes Aren’t Required. Lyme disease is associated with a red, bullseye-shaped rash, but many people never see one (and don’t remember being bitten by a tick). So if your child starts to develop symptoms of a Lyme infection, see your pediatrician — rash or no rash. “Lyme has been found in all 50 states, and a high percentage of its victims are children”, says Diane Blanchard, co-chair of Time for Lyme, Inc., a research, education and support group in Greenwich, CT. “Children are particularly vulnerable because they are outside a lot, especially in the early summer, when ticks are most plentiful,” she adds. “If they do get infected, kids can experience headaches, fatigue and flu-like symptoms, and, if the disease is left untreated, can also develop learning and behavioral problems, depression, nerve damage, memory loss and other cognitive, psychiatric and neurological problems.”