Increase in Ticks in Our Area!

posted: by: admin Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Ticks are here!  We are noticing an increased amount of ticks seen in our area.  All it took was an unusual February warm spell for the tiny insects to become active once again, causing an increasingly big problem in Michigan. They are not just a nuisance for people and pets, they bring a risk of tick-borne diseases as well. 

            When a tick bites an animal/person, seeking a blood meal, it transfers bacteria that can cause many diseases, including Lyme disease.  There were fewer than 30 human cases of Lyme disease reported in Michigan between 2000 and 2004.  By 2009, the number had jumped to 90 reported cases.  By 2013, it was 166 cases.  That number could be very low.  The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the number of Lyme disease cases nationwide could be 10 times higher than what's actually reported.

            Because of  Lyme disease's relative newness in Michigan, and because it's early symptoms often mimic what feels like the flu, infected people - and even their doctors - often don't test for it.  Doctors also don't always report finding Lyme disease to their local public health department. 

            As the ticks that spread Lyme disease make their way across the state, Michigan residents need to adopt tick precautions.  Avoid areas where ticks are likely present.  Use repellents on clothing.  The key is to make sure when you come back from being in tick-prone areas, do a tick check.  Remove ticks as quickly as you can, even if bitten.  If you can remove the tick within 24 hours, your chances of getting Lyme disease are almost none. 

            If a tick is found on you or your pet, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick at the skin's surface.  Pull the tick straight up and out.  Don't twist or jerk the tick - this can cause the mouth parts to break off and stay in the skin.  Avoid using lighter fluid, matches, or other products that may irritate the skin or cause other injuries to your or your pet.

For more information about Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, visit:

            The Lyme Disease Association:


            CDC Division of Vector-borne Diseases:


            CDC National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases:


            Companion Animal Parasite Council:


For tips and more information about tick-borne diseases and how to keep dogs safe, visit:


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