Updated: Sep 24, 2020
May is #LymeDiseaseAwarenessMonth! For those who aren’t familiar with Lyme, it is caused from the bite of an infected tick (most commonly from a black-legged or deer tick). (www.lymedisaseassocation.org) Prevalent in the Northeast (as the first case was reported in Old Lyme, Connecticut); Lyme is rapidly spreading across the country and even around the world.
Since ticks are so small - some even smaller than the size of a sesame seed - it’s important to check for ticks frequently throughout the warmer months - particularly after spending time outdoors; one of the best ways to get a thorough check is while you’re in the shower.
Here are some helpful tips for preventing ticks: check your skin and clothes thoroughly; when hiking/camping/playing outside, try to wear light colors (it will make checking for those little stinkers much easier); wear long pants/shirts when you can - some suggest tucking your pants into your socks, making it harder for a tick to latch on!); finally, use some sort of Deet repellent - especially for those who live in highly wooded areas.
Should you find a tick, it’s best to carefully remove the entire tick with tweezers and keep it in a plastic bag in the freezer so that it can be sent for testing. If the tick is still alive when removed, place a wet tissue in the plastic bag before putting it in the freezer.
Not-so-fun-fact: Humans aren’t the only ones that can be diagnosed with Lyme Disease - animals can get it too; most commonly found in dogs.
Since dogs are covered in fur (or hair!) it may be harder to spot a tick on their bodies (especially if they have a darker coat).
While these methods are helpful for preventing ticks from latching onto your dog’s skin, it’s important to know that a tick could still be found on your dog - meaning that a simple pet or cuddle with your pup could result in a tick on you, which is why it’s so important to double check your dog. A lint roller is a quick and easy way to pick up a tick that might be sitting on the fur!
Don't forget to reward your dog with some treats for being patient while you do a tick-check! Check out Chicken Soup for the Soul's dog treats - grain-free options available, too! #ChickenSoupPets #WhereHealthyBegins
*Please note that this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice from a vet/doctor, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you or your pet may be at risk, seek the advice of a professional. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking care because of anything you have taken from this website.