By Michelle Russillo
Surprising most people are unaware that ticks are second only to mosquitoes in the number of diseases they transmit. Ticks can live in unfavorable conditions which is why they are so prevalent and a concern for people and pets.
What ticks are found here in California? According to DVM 360 black-legged tick is found on the Pacific coast and can be found in grassy areas or woodland and warm, sandy areas. Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected soft ticks. TBRF has been reported in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and is associated with sleeping in rustic cabins and vacation homes Also, 364D rickettsiosis is transmitted to humans by the Pacific Coast tick is a new disease that has been found in California. (SOURCE: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL).
There are ways to lessen ticks on your pets
- Inspect pets daily- creased areas like armpits
- Keep grass short-Ticks like dark, shady and moist shrubs and grass.
- Stack wood in a neat dry place
- Discourage wandering wildlife with fencing
- Indoor cats do need to be on preventatives because dogs can bring the ticks into the home.
Refrain from killing the tick before removal. Ticks can inject bacteria while being agitated before the kill. Additionally, tick’s saliva has an anesthetic property so the bite can’t be felt by the host. The best method to remove tick is to go to the veterinarian but if you are unable get to the veterinarian use a tweezer and remove the tick like a splinter
Lastly, pet owners should monitor your pets for ticks and symptoms of illnesses. Tick-borne diseases are slow migrating diseases. Talk to your veterinarian about annual disease screening to protect pets.