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Tick Season Arrives

Medical professionals say the heat and moisture increases the chances of ticks and the diseases they carry.
JOPLIN, MO.--- "Late spring and early summer is the high point of the tick bites and tick borne illnesses," said Joseph Newman, M.D. Freeman Wound Care Physician.

Veterinarian Doctor Ben Leavens says it's not just people who are at high risk, pets are more likely to attract ticks than humans.

"What will happen, you'll look down and think there's a grease spot on the dogs fur, and it's really about 5,000 ticks that came off a leaf, and they'll just invade up the leg," said Dr. Ben Leavens, DVM Main Street Pet Care.

The most common ticks are the adults.

"They just wait for an opportunity to land on something. The most common thing they land on is different types of wild life, but if a pet goes out into the field, they're going to pick them up too," said Dr. Leavens.

Which can then transfer to their owners. When a pet owner decides to treat their animal with a tick prevention, that can increase the chances the tick will move on to the owner.

"The only good news about that is those ticks are usually in the process of dying, with most products, so they're not going to hurt the person if the dog has the product on them to prevent it," said Dr. Leavens.

Dr. Leavens stresses the importance of checking both yourself and your pet regularly. Otherwise, you run the risk of becoming infected with Lyme disease or Ehrlichia.

"They had an undiscovered tick and it was on them somewhere long enough to transmit the disease, and usually that won't happen with in less than 12 or 20 hours. So, meticulous checking when you go outside is probably the most important thing," said Dr. Leavens.

If you discover a tick, you should use tweezers to properly remove the parasite. This will help prevent crushing the tick and spreading any possible diseases. If you own an outdoor pet, you should check them everyday for ticks, and get a tick preventative for them.
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