Ticks a common problem for people, dogs - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Ticks a common problem for people, dogs

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- People in central Wisconsin are spending more time outside now that the weather is nicer.

That means there's a good chance they're going to come across some ticks.

These little parasites can cause Lyme disease, and they can be equally as dangerous to dogs as they are to humans.

They're on the minds of some dog owners who have found ticks on their dogs.

"There's a little bump still there so we're kind of worried and watching it," said Rosie Beeber of Weston.

Veterinarians are watching out for ticks too.

"People keep coming in now, saying, 'We're finding lots of ticks already,'" said Dr. Karla Sathre, a veterinarian at Wausau Animal Hospital. "No, we've been finding them for about a month here."

Vets say ticks are a common problem in central Wisconsin.

"We have so much of the trees and forage that they can live in easily that if it gets anything over about 30 degrees on the sunny side of a tree, they'll be out and active," Sathre said.

It can spell bad news for dog owners who like to be outside.

"It's not just a hunting dog type thing," said Sathre. "It's the urban dog that goes camping regularly or goes walking up Rib Mountain on a weekend."

Some dog owners at the Weston Dog Park Sunday say they're aware of the possible threat, and they're staying on top of it.

"[We] feel around her fur although they'd be hard to detect because she's so dark," said Katie Grogan of Lisbon.

"[We] keep him clean and when we pet him we just make sure to feel around and if we notice any ticks, take them off right away," Beeber said.

Vets say early detection is key.

"It takes the tick about 48 hours to transmit the disease, so if you find them when they just got on, you're going to prevent it just by removing it," Sathre said.

They say inspecting dogs for ticks is pretty simple. It's not too different from checking people.

"Feel them over real well, check through hair really good," said Sathre. "I grew up on a farm and we did tick check every night on us humans. It's the same kind of thing. Look between your toes, feel your hair real good, check in your ears, all the different places that ticks like."

If a dog does happen to have a tick, no need to overthink it. Vets say just pull it off.

Veterinarians say tick season can be as long as February to December, but the heaviest tick times are early spring and late fall.
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