Lyme disease on the rise in WNY, how you can can protect your pets

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — During the spring and summer months, it’s not uncommon for dogs to come into the Brighton-Eggert animal clinic in Tonawanda with ticks at least once or twice a week.

“We honestly see them all throughout the winter as well if we get a few warm days but it definitely starts to pick up at this time of year,” said Dr. Holly Guenther, Brighton-Eggert Animal Clinic.

Fleas and ticks are often in tall grass and wooded areas, and they really start coming out in temperatures over 45 degrees.

“We see a lot of them in Grand Island that’s probably where we’re seeing the most ticks,” said Dr. Guenther.

If your cat or dog is bit by a tick, devastating consequences could follow in less than 24 hours.

“They can transmit a lot of diseases, most commonly the one everyone knows about is Lyme disease but there are a few others we see fairly often around here,” said Dr. Guenther.

One of the best ways to prevent Lyme disease is to make sure your pet has a preventative medication.But it might be best to have it done by your vet, because misapplying products can be fatal.

“Every year we see it happen especially with cats. We see flea products that are misapplied or incorrect products applied, for instance a dog flea product will be used on a cat,” said Gina Browning, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications officer.

Dr. Guenther says ticks are typically found around pets ears, neck, or on their legs.

“Lyme disease has definitely become more common in upstate New York over the past few years so we are seeing it on a fairly regular basis now,” said Dr. Guenther.

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