Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Watch Out For These Disease Carrying Pesks

Ticks and Fleas � Prevention and Removal: "Ticks are opportunists. Young ticks will wait weeks for some warm-blooded creature to come along, and when they find it, they hop on and attach themselves to the skin, or even climb into ears. In order to lay eggs, they must fill up on the creature�s blood; then they drop off. In addition to the discomfort they cause an animal, they also may carry serious diseases that can be transmitted to humans like Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
To prevent a tick infestation, brush your animal well before venturing out into known tick habitats, like open fields or forests. Remove as much loose hair as possible, and treat the coat and skin with a natural flea and tick repellent (see below). Work it in as well as you can.
Once you return home, check your pet�s body for ticks by using a fine-toothed flea comb. They will be evident as tiny black spots, and you may find the area around them raised or inflamed. If there aren�t too many of them, you can pick them off manually with a pair of tweezers. Grab them as close to the skin as possible, and slowly but firmly pull gently to eject them. Pulling slowly is key; if you pull too quickly you could dislodge the body without the head. (Not a big deal, but may lead to more inflammation.) If you find a large number of ticks or find them hard to remove, contact your vet immediately. "

--especially here in the Rocky Mountains