CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) – While you are spending more time at home, your pets are spending more time outside. Now some veterinarians are putting out a warning to pet owners that this could result in more tick bites, and if left untreated more Lyme Disease cases.
“Tick season is actually very high, we have a lot of cases. As of today, I have 575 positive dogs for Lyme Disease,” said Dr. Hisham Ibrahim, with Good Shepherd Veterinary Hospital.
Dr. Ibrahim tells KDKA with the overpopulation of deer in Western Pennsylvania, it’s leading to a longer tick season and an increase in cases.
“We’ve kind of been a little bit concerned, but we go to his vet regularly where we inspect him. In the summer, we will keep his coat a little bit shorter so we can look through the fur a little bit easier,” said Brandi Williams, who is a dog owner.
Williams takes extra precautions to keep her dog safe, but Dr. Ibrahim said the best method is to add three levels of protection.
“It is a very good idea to check your dog every time they come in from outside because once they pick up the tick, if you get it before it’s engorged you’ve saved your dog,” Dr. Ibrahim said.
There are also preventative options like topical oils given each month, tick collars plus a vaccine that Dr. Ibrahim said provides 85 to 95 percent protection.
A human can get Lyme Disease, but not directly from your dog. The dog can carry an infected tick that will bite a person infecting them with Lyme Disease, so always be aware of what’s crawling near your dog.