SPOKANE, Wash. – As the temperatures increase, so do the chances of being attacked by bugs.
This year, insect experts are predicting larger than normal numbers of ticks.
Dr. Kat Bell works for the Indian Trail Animal Hospital in Spokane. She said it is too early to tell if ticks will be a huge problem for pet owners – but nonetheless it is always a concern. She said they already have had to remove some ticks from dogs so far this spring.
Michael Whittle has come across a tick or two that attached itself to either one of his dogs Tiko or Mariah.
“You’ll be scratching their head or something and you’ll feel this little bump and go oh God.”
Whittle said they go hiking on the cliffs on the bluffs a lot and that is likely where he sees them the most. Because they enjoy the outdoors so much, Whittle said they do what they can to limit their chances of taking home any unexpected guests.
“I think it’s really being on top of brushing them everyday and making sure there’s no ticks around their neck or ears,” Whittle said.
Paige McKee and her four dogs also enjoy the outdoors.
“We walk over the park every chance we get,” she said.
She said they do avoid brushy, wooded areas where experts say ticks lurk.
“We just watch them, just pet through them and keep their hair short, that’s what works for us,” McKee said.
Doriene Arnett says ticks have not been a problem for her dog Beethoven since they mainly walk downtown and away from wooded areas, but said when they do venture out she keeps a close eye on them.
“Kind of worried but to prepare, I’d probably just do what the vet says and just watch on everything to make sure he doesn’t have them on him,” Arnett said.
While these dog owners have had different experiences when it comes to these pesky critters, they all agree vigilance is the key to keeping their dogs happy and healthy.
Veterinarians agree with the approach the people we spoke with took – preventative measures.
They said ticks can sometimes carry some serious blood borne diseases for pets. If your pet gets a tick, professionals said if you feel comfortable removing it yourself you should. If not, you should see your veterinarian.