Lyme Disease: What To Know This Season
What’s the best way to prevent a tick bite?
Ticks can’t fly or jump, but instead live in shrubs and bushes, and grab onto someone when they pass by. To avoid getting bitten, wear pants and socks in the woods, areas with lots of trees, and while handling fallen leaves. Wear a tick repellent on your skin and clothing that has DEET, lemon oil, or eucalyptus.
For even more protection, use the chemical permethrin on clothing and camping gear.
Shower within 2 hours after coming inside, if possible. It lets you look at your skin and wash ticks out of your hair. Also, put your clothing and any exposed gear into a hot dryer to kill whatever pests might remain.
What if my dog is bitten by a tick?
It’s pretty likely your furry pal has been bitten by a black-legged tick, especially if you live in the Northeast. In fact, dogs are a barometer of where ticks live, Mead says.
“The fact that dogs are good at picking up ticks means that where humans are getting Lyme, dogs are getting it very often. Where they aren’t infected a lot is a good indicator where Lyme is not,” he says.
And they can get sick. About 10% of dogs with Lyme disease will become ill. Common symptoms are lameness, a fever, lethargy, and enlarged lymph nodes. Dogs also receive antibiotics for treatment.
What if my dog brings the ticks in the home?
Practice prevention habits and use a tick control product on your pet.