Places to check your pet for ticks

Protect your dog from fleas and ticks since they can prove fatal for smaller pets. (File photo)

There are viruses that researchers say comes from ticks, but they have not yet been identified.

As scary as that sounds to humans and pets, believe it or not, tick bites can be 100 percent preventable.

"Ticks are probably the nastiest little creatures on the face of the Earth," says Dr. Bob Reich of Animal Medical Clinic in Quincy.

Dr. Bob Reich of Animal Medical Clinic says he's seeing more ticks and tick related illnesses than in years past.

"There are so many unnamed tick diseases on the forefront for both humans and for pets. We need to be extra careful with our pets because they are the vector that bring ticks into our homes for our kids and ourselves.

Web MD has this great resource on how to check your pets for ticks. There are 8 places the critters like to go. Under the tail, around the neck and shoulders, Inside and behind the ears, around the eyes, under the legs, in between paws, and around the groin. If you can't remember all 8, remember this.

"Ticks go to the warmest part of the body, whether it's people or pets. The warmest part of you body is your ears and your head," says Dr. Reich.

After you remove the tick, Dr. Reich says you can drown it in rubbing alcohol. But, make sure and wash your hands well, because you're carrying those germs on our fingers.

"I think what people don't realize is 'well, I don't hunt mushrooms, I'm not a fisherman, I'm not a camper, so my dog's not prone to ticks. Some of the worst tick diseases I've seen are from dogs who never left their back yard on South 24th Street in Quincy, says Dr. Reich.

If you see any redness around where the tick was, you need to see a doctor, and your pet should go to the veterinarian. Tick diseases can be treated, but often have lasting effects on the joints, nervous system, and even the brain.

Dr. Reich says tick bites can be prevented, especially in animals.

He says there are several options on the market now, both oral and topical you can give your pet.

He also adds ticks aren't just around in the spring and summer, it's best to treat your animals all year long.

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