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Is Your Pet Ticked Off?

A common parasite, especially during the summer months, is the tick. Ticks can be found in most climates. They are most often found in wooded, damp and grassy areas before they attach to a pet. Some tick bites are harmless, but others can cause skin damage, irritation, hypersensitivity and anemia.

The most common diseases transmitted by tick bites are Lyme disease, tick-borne fever, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If left untreated, these diseases can cause severe health problems that can be fatal. The following are warning signs that your dog or cat may have a tick-borne disease.

Lyme disease symptoms:
   • Arthritis
   • Lameness
   • Depression
   • Loss of appetite

Tick-borne fever symptoms:
   • Weakness
   • Cough
   • Labored breathing
   • Fatigue
   • Discharge from the nose or eyes

Rocky Mountain spotted fever symptoms:
(Symptoms are similar to those of tick-borne fever.)
   • Loss of appetite
   • Lethargy
   • Depression
   • Feverish
   • Lameness
   • Vomiting
   • Diarrhea
Contact your veterinarian immediately to schedule an examination and a blood test if you believe that your pet has been bitten and infected by a tick. If you remove any of the ticks from your pet, save them in a bottle – your veterinarian may want to examine them in order to determine what type of ticks they were. Remove ticks with tweezers or with a special “tick remover.” Never remove a tick with your hands or a match.

The proper way to remove a tick with tweezers:
Step 1 - Grip the tick as close to the head as possible
Step 2 - Gently twist and remove

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