Tick population on the rise in Mid-Michigan

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GRAND BLANC (WJRT) - (09/06/16) - Dog owners around Mid-Michigan say they have been finding more ticks on their dogs this summer.

Ticks can cause Lyme disease in your dog and possibly in you. Preventing your dog from being bitten by ticks is the key.

Lyme disease can cause lameness in dogs. In people, it can lead to joint pain and fatigue that can last for years. The disease is spread by the deer tick.

Deer ticks are found most often on the west side of the state, but they have been spreading into Mid-Michigan. Deer ticks and dog ticks can latch on when your dog or cat is outdoors.

"The risk is going to be greater if we're in areas where it is heavily wooded or leafy. If you're on grass, mowed grass, that sort of thing, sidewalks, you'll be less at risk," said Dr. Joe Hendricks, of the Briarwood Veterinary Hospital in Grand Blanc.

Hendricks recommends you check your dog daily for signs of ticks.

"They like to grab onto and attach mainly to the front half of the body. As we're running our hands down and across the back, I can feel for any lump or bumps," Hendricks said.

If you find a tick, don't pull it off yourself.

"Removing that tick carefully and safely is going to be very important. Your veterinarian is the one going to be qualified to do that," Hendricks said.

Preventing the tick from biting in the first place is important.

"There are some wonderful, safe, affordable products that we can either put on or in our pets and our dogs at this stage of the game," Hendricks said.

Lyme disease in people in Mid-Michigan is rare. It's found most often in New England states.

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