Experts warn against active tick season

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 9:25 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - “It never gets cold enough in Kentucky to completely eliminate ticks and fleas, even in the winter time,” said Dr. Hudson.

We’re the peak season for ticks this summer and experts are warning they’re seeing an increase in the tiny and potentially harmful bug.

“We see them all the time,” Dr. Hudson said.

Dr. Hudson says she is seeing a large increase in the number of animals coming into the hospital with ticks.

Ticks can cause several diseases if not treated.

“There are some diseases that they can get from ticks that they may never fully clear. It is one of those that they could potentially be carriers for the rest of their life. So, prevention is the best treatment,” Dr. Hudson said.

The CDC says dogs are very susceptible to tick bites. Due to dogs’ fur, ticks can be hard to detect. Dr. Hudson recommends using a fine tooth comb to brush your pet after you’ve been outside or if you are looking for ticks.

“The easiest places to look first are on the belly, underneath, just because the hair is a little more thin. Looking inside the ears is a common place for them to get them because there’s less hair,” Dr. Hudson said. “Really when I check my dogs, I just use my hands to feel. I just run my hands through their fur and you are trying to feel for that little small bump.”

The most important thing is the monthly flea and tick preventative that you can get ideally from your local veterinarian. Dr. Hudson says the over the counter products aren’t as effective. “Pretty much any product that you give by mouth, it is going to be more effective than the topical you put on your skin.”

Dr. Hudson has also seen many cases of tick-born illness in cats, which is rare even during the warmer months. “It’s called Bob Cat Fever. I have seen several cases of that and that is very dangerous and potentially fatal to cats. So, yeah I definitely think the risk is increasing for sure.”

Removing ticks within 24 hours will drastically reduce the risk of getting a tick-born illness.

“If you are going out for a hike just check them thoroughly, really well, whenever you get back from the hike and remove the tick as soon as you find it,” Dr. Hudson said.

If the area around the tick becomes red or swollen, contact your vet.

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