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June 2003 Newsletter
Volume III Issue 6-03
It is Tick Season Once Again
While we think that summer is the only time for ticks, the truth is that
ticks can be prevalent during winter months as well. However, it is during
the warmer months when our pets spend more time outdoors and situations are
more favorable for ticks to attach themselves to our pets. Ticks cannot run,
hop or fly. In order for them to get to our pets, they usually have to get
above the level of the pets so they can drop on them (or us) in hopes of attaching
themselves and providing themselves with a warm blood meal that is necessary
for the female to complete her egg laying process. Therefore, ticks need tall
grasses, weeds, bushes, fence posts, etc. as a means to get above us or our
pets. When they sense a host beneath them, they simply drop in the hopes of
landing on a warm-blooded creature.
Pets that live in apartments and spend little time outdoors are at minimal
risk for ticks and their associated Lyme disease. Pets and people who spend
a great deal of time outdoors and in grassy fields, woods or beach areas need
to be protected from and checked constantly for ticks. Frequent mowing of
grass, elimination of weeds and keeping pets out of brushy areas will help
to minimize the risk of tick attachments. Checking the pet after each time
outdoors can minimize the possibility of tick attachment by finding and removing
them before they have time to attach. Especial attention should be paid to
the pets head, ears and back area. When ticks drop, they land on top of the
animal. By running the hands over the top of the animal, it is usually easy
to detect a tick, even when it is hidden within the fur of the animal. At
this time, they usually have not had time to attach themselves and can be
Ticks attach themselves with harpoon-like attachments that are a part of
their mouths. This means that the need to be removed with care so that the
head is not broken off and remains in the skin. The mouth of the tick angles
beneath the head at about a 35 degree angle from the body and points toward
its tail. To remove a tick without breaking the head off, use a pair of fine
tweezers and grasp the tick close to where its mouth parts are embedded into
the skin. Gently push forward, toward the area in front of the tick and maintain
gentle pressure for however long it takes for the attachment barbs to relax
and let go of the skin. It is a good idea to wear latex gloves when removing
ticks and to clean hands, tweezers and the bite site after tick removal. DO
NOT grasp the tick with the fingers and attempt to pull it out. This requires
squeezing the tick and causing it to inject
more infectious agent into the bite area. DO NOT attempt to burn ticks off
or smother them with petroleum jelly of nail polish as these are "old
wives tale" remedies that simply do not work. It is a good idea to save
ticks that are removed from pets or people, in case a rash or other symptoms
develop. Often, it can take up to four weeks for the symptoms of Lyme disease
to develop. The best way to save a tick is to place it in a Ziplock bag or
a bottle along with a moistened cotton ball or wad of paper towel to keep
the tick from dehydrating. If symptoms develop, take the tick to the doctor
or veterinarian who will be treating the patient.
People who spend time in the field should take precautions against tick bites:
1. Wear light colored clothing that allows ticks to be seen easier.
2. Wear long-sleeved shirts that are buttoned or otherwise tightened at the
3. Wear long pants with the cuffs tucked into socks.
4. Wear sensible shoes that cover the entire feet, i.e. no sandals.
5. Use DEET on the skin to repel ticks (use caution in applying DEET as too
much can cause breathing problems, especially in children.
For at least the past ten years a vaccine to prevent Lyme disease in animals
has been licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For pets that spend
considerable time outdoors, it is well-worth discussing having your pets vaccinated
against Lyme disease with your veterinarian.
always your Veterinarian is the best source of information and
treatment for questions or problems that may exist.
If you have any suggestions or
comments or would like to add to
our "Monthly Newsletter",
"Our Thank You To All"
WE want to thank all our volunteers
and special folks who have shared their
open feelings in support and caring in responding to others in our "Guest
and our "Message Board" and for the continued support for all that
In Memory Of Pets has to offer from our hearts..
Bless all who come to "In
Memory Of Pets" in sharing loving feelings
for their beloved ones.
John, Carole and Staff
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In Memory of Pets
278 Cedar Road
Hershey, PA 17033
Attn: Kenneth L. Miller Secretary/Treasurer
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