Tick season in the U.P.: Part one

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IRON MOUNTAIN– With the warmer months approaching, more of us will be heading outdoors. And that can invite some unwanted guests onto both you and your pets like ticks.

“The tick population is higher than ever and it’s not going anywhere,” said Dr. Brian Scott, Iron Mountain Animal Hospital. “I’d say in Northern Wisconsin it’s by far the work and the bordering southern part of the U.P. are probably a close second.”

Dr. Scott says the deer tick, also known as the black-legged tick is the most common tick he sees in his furry patients.

“And it’s the one that spreads all of the disease,” said Dr. Scott. “From Lyme Disease, to Anaplasma, to Ehrlichia, to Babesiosis in dogs specifically and also in humans.”

Symptoms of a dog with Lyme Disease includes aches in joints, weakness or tiring and red blood cell loss.

“You can go into kidney failure or other organ failures as a result of non-treating or not treating these infections,” said Dr. Scott.

Iron Mountain Animal Hospital has done a total of 497 tick screens so far this year. Of those, 49 were positive for Lyme Disease, 63 for Anaplasma and two for Ehrlichia. There are some precautions you can take to eliminate the risk of disease in dogs.

“In dogs specifically there’s a very good Lyme’s vaccine,” sid Dr. Scott. So an annual Lyme’s vaccine is extremely important. For Anaplama and Ehrlichia however there are no vaccines. So a good preventative is very important. I’d say the best one right now is an oral called provecto that will treat or prevent infections for about three months or 12 weeks.”

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