National Dog Bite Prevention Week on May, 2018: Are there many ticks in Florida, specifically in Broward county?

National Dog Bite Prevention Week 2018. Dog Bite Prevention Week National Dog Bite Prevention

Are there many ticks in Florida, specifically in Broward county?

Well, of course ticks carry lyme disease, but not all. You can commonly get them if you're at the Biscayne National Park or Everglades National Park.

The most important ticks to those of us in Miami County are hard ticks. They carry several serious diseases and transmit them to humans and pets.

Ticks go through a life cycle of egg, larva, nymph and adult. The most important are three-host ticks. The adult female tick gorges on blood, drops off its host and deposits thousands of eggs. The female then dies. Six-legged larvae develop and remain on the ground or within low vegetation until a host comes by. After feeding for a few days, a larva drops off, molts and becomes an eight-legged nymph.

Ticks in all of these stages are very small, but can become attached to people. The normal host for the nymph would be a small animal, such as an opossum, dog, rabbit, raccoon or skunk. After a week or so of feeding, the nymph falls off, molts and becomes an eight-legged adult. The adult mates and feeds on another host, a larger animal. An adult tick can crawl several feet onto tall grasses, weeds or low bushes. It does not jump or drop from trees.

The American dog tick feeds on cats, dogs, cattle, horses and other large animals, including humans. The female expands to about ¾ inch in size after gorging. In our region, these ticks are encountered from March to September in grasslands and at the edge of forests. They transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and cytauxzoonosis, a fatal blood parasite in cats, and they can cause paralysis if attached close to the spine.

The female Lone Star tick has a white “star” on its dorsal shield. The male has white-to-yellow lines on the edge of the shield. It is found in dense underbrush, where it waits for deer. All stages of these ticks can be found on deer. Those in immature stages are found on quail, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, dogs, coyotes and humans. The adult ticks are encountered from late February until early June and the larvae from late summer into fall. Thousands of larvae can be found on a single blade of grass or leaf. These ticks carry the organisms that cause the bacterial diseases ehrlichiosis and tularemia, as well as the bacterium Borrelia lonestari, which causes Lyme disease-like symptoms.

The black-legged tick, also known as the deer tick, is called the Lyme disease tick. Its primary host is the white-tailed deer. The occurrence of Lyme disease follows the increase in white-tailed deer population. These ticks are very small. The larvae, which are the size of a pin head, feed on mice, squirrels, chipmunks, other small animals and humans. Juveniles are found mostly between May and July. Adult deer ticks, which are about one-sixteenth of an inch long, are found between September and December. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most Lyme-disease cases occur as the result of a bite from an infected nymph.

The brown dog tick is another three-host tick. It is the only tick that will infest human dwellings and kennels. It carries dog diseases.

Here are some precautions to take:

When walking into tick habitat, wear long pants and tuck cuffs into socks or tape them to socks.

Wrap duct tape around your pant legs; make one twist and wrap sticky side out.

Wear light clothing, so ticks are visible.

Hike with others to make it easier to spot ticks.

Apply repellent to the top of socks and pant legs. Products with DEET are effective for a few hours. Products with permethrin are effective for several days, but do not apply them directly to skin.

Don’t bring camping gear or sports equipment into a house or building until it is inspected for ticks.

Undress and check for ticks as soon as possible after returning from the outdoors.

Apply regular applications of acaricides (collar, spray or spot application) on pets.

Avoid tall grasses, weeds and brushy areas. Stay in the center of paths.

Keep grass and shrubs mowed. Sunlight will desiccate ticks.

Broad application of chemical treatment is rarely needed, but some pesticides may be necessary along fence rows, around animal kennels or in shaded areas. Be sure to follow state laws and label directions.

Removal of ticks

Remove an attached tick as soon as possible. Disease is rarely transmitted within the first 8 hours of attachment and seldom within 18 hours. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible with small tweezers. Pull slowly away from the skin. Do not twist or jerk. Kansas State University entomologists do not recommend other removal methods.

Is anyone a veterinary technician on this website?

Is anyone a veterinary technician on this website?

I was a licensed Vet Tech for 8 years in 3 different states. Note I said WAS. I stopped for a multitude of reasons.

Personally I will say that anything veterinary-related is going to be both incredibly challenging and also very rewarding, too. On the first day of class, we all unaninimously agreed that we were all there because we love animals, but being a veterinary technician is a job about working with people. You are working heavily with animals, but also very very much with the animal owners, other vet techs, assitants, kennel staff/grooms, and veterinarians.

You might find working with the animals the easy part compared to working with tempermental vets that all suffer from God complexes. Likewise, politely and correctly educating owners on care/prevention for their pets is a challenge sometimes, too... and not coming home with ever abandoned animal or hopeless cause is a challenge too...

Once you are done with your 2 years of education, you will take a national board to get your license. After that, you will find that you will work long, and perhaps not ideal hours. This is not a 9-5 job. And depending on if you work in a "regular" clinic seeing cats, dogs or other small animals, an emergency or 24 hour hospital, a university, or a large animal facility, you may find that your hours can be quite low or stretch into 15 hour days, and you may not find time to take a lunch break depending on where you work (especially in ambulatory practices).

It is gruesome, too. But blood, broken bones, major injuries, snot, drool, pus, abcesses, infections, foul odors, vomit and diarrhea are all part of the job. So are bites, scratches, and kicks. And unfortunately, euthanasia is also part of the work. All of these things are situations you must grow accustomed to in order to complete your job. Sometimes keeping emotional attachment out of your work is a very good idea.

If you are really unsure, you should really call around to your local vets and see if you can do some kind of shadow program. This will let you stand by in a room, in the back of the house, and in surgery, so you can see what goes on in a day in the life of a vet or vet tech. Shadow for a week and you'll have a very good idea of what kind of future is ahead of you.

Also on this date Tuesday, May 1, 2018...