How to handle ticks, your pet and your household

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Angels for Animals Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Clipes says it is already a bad season for ticks

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Local veterinarians are seeing a number of pets coming in with problems due to ticks.

Angels for Animals Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Clipes says it is already a bad season for ticks.

“The scary part is some of these dogs will be positive with minimal signs, and so it’s really important to keep them on protection,” Clipes said.

Ticks can be tiny, the size of a pinhead and can attach themselves to an animal’s paw pads or ears. The insects can easily move from pets to humans.

Experts say ticks can spread Lyme disease and other infections within a couple of days of biting.

“At that point, we definitely want to have you come in, see us in our walk-in clinics, see your primary care doctor to be assessed,” said Caitlin Spillin, a spokesperson for Mercy Health.

Some think our unusually warm spring weather is behind the increase in tick problems, but the bugs are with us year-round.

“We catch during the spring and summer some of those diseases we’ve contracted in the fall and winter, ” Clipes said.

Another misconception is how to remove a tick that’s embedded, such as using petroleum jelly, rubbing alcohol or the tip of a match.

“All of those things are actually no that effective and can end up inducing more harm than good,” Spillin said.

Spillin says it’s best to use tweezers or your finger and thumb to gently pull the bug out. She also says it is a good idea to check your clothing and take a shower after being out in wooded or grassy areas where ticks live. In the end, protection is the key for your pets.

“You’ve got collars, topicals, chewies. Pick one that works for your family. You pick one that works for your compliance,” Clipes said.

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