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Dog owners noticing increase of ticks in North Alabama

WAAY 31 learned what you can do to protect your pets.

Posted: May 29, 2019 5:06 PM
Updated: May 29, 2019 6:10 PM

With the temperatures heating up in North Alabama, some people are noticing a tick invasion.

Many dog parks in Huntsville are empty right now because of the high temperatures. Doctor Kevin Anderson said his animal care clinic in South Huntsville has been seeing at least one pet a day who needs a tick removed.

"It's a good idea when they come of the woods or come off the trail, or whatever you're doing to run your hand over and check the dog and check yourself. If the dogs can get ticks, we can get ticks too," Anderson said.

Kelsey Zwack brings her dogs to the dog park at least once a week, and recently noticed ticks crawling on them after their visits.

"I have noticed more ticks. They are both on flea and tick medication, so I will find them more so crawling on them. It's very concerning. I love my pets. It's very important they are well taken care of," Zwack said.

He said he suggests all dog owners should get their pets on a preventative tick and flee medication to help combat the problem. Some owners are avoiding certain areas all together.

Anderson said he thinks the amount of ticks in the area are about normal, but he says that still means there are a lot of ticks. The warm weather is bringing it to people's attention.

"People are outside probably more right now, because people really haven't been outside lately," he said.

Anderson said the most common disease spread by ticks in North Alabama is the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Symptoms in pets can include poor appetite, fever, coughing and vomiting. Lyme disease can be spread as well, but Anderson said it's not as common in our area.

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