By Dr. Ginny Jones, Veterinarian

I am holding onto the dog days of Summer for as long as I can, but with Fall right around the corner I am starting to think about picking apples, picking pumpkins and unfortunately picking ticks. That’s right, ticks! Many people think Summer time is when ticks are at their peak, but early Fall is actually when ticks are most prevalent.

Ticks reside in the woods and tall grass for the most part, but they also enjoy hanging out on trees and in piles of leaves. If your furry friends are outdoors playing in environments such as this, be careful! If a tick jumps from a tree to your pet it can feed for a few days. Your pet can also bring the tick back into the house and potentially transfer it to another pet or even a human living in your household.

Ticks can spread diseases such as Lyme disease, which is a bacterial infection that Dr. Plitt wrote about in a blog back in May. Lyme disease can affect not only dogs and cats, but also humans and other mammals. As more and more ticks migrate to the mid-Atlantic, we are seeing other tick-borne diseases that we are treating at Huffard Animal Hospital.

Make sure to check your pets regularly if they have been outside. Whenever they come back inside, it is a good idea to thoroughly check your pets with your hands, paying extra attention around their head, ears and feet.

If you think your pet has ticks, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian today. Remember that prevention plays an important role in keeping your pets safe, so talk with your veterinarian about the best preventative medicine to keep your pets tick free this Fall.

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