Tick season is here and that means it’s time to protect yourself and your loved ones (including pets) from tick bites. Different species of ticks can carry a variety of diseases or cause other health issues like tick bite paralysis. The Rocky Mountain Wood Tick and the American Dog Tick (both found in Colorado) can cause tick bite paralysis. Both species of ticks have been seen this spring in Northern Colorado. Although rare, tick bite paralysis can affect both people and pets and, in rare instances, can be fatal. Once the tick is removed, the paralysis symptoms generally go away, but when the tick isn't discovered the paralysis can continue to spread and become fatal.
Follow these steps to protect yourself and your pets from ticks:
1. Wear long sleeves and pants and consider tucking pant legs into socks if you will be walking in tall grass or wooded areas.
2. Use an EPA approved tick repellent when outdoors and check for ticks upon coming back in.
3. Pets should be treated with a veterinary approved tick prevention product. If you see signs of illness in your pet, especially after a tick bite, contact your veterinarian.
If you find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic – the key is to remove the tick as soon as possible. Visit the Health Hot Topics section at http://bit.ly/weldtick to find out how to safely remove a tick.