Tick prevention for your K9 companion

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Wausau, Wis. (WSAW) --- It's better to be safe than sorry, that's why it's important to get your dog treated for fleas and ticks before the peak of the season.

"As soon as its above freezing and you see grass. Ticks are out," said Wausau Animal Hospital Dr. Jamie Gifford.

Since there are so many tick medications, like creams, oral medications and collars, Dr. Gifford also said it's important to take your animal to their vet, to see which form of prevention is best for them.

"Does the dog go swimming on a regular basis, does the dog get groomed on a regular bases, where are you living, how bad are the ticks, are you going to go camping. All these things play into what we recommend for the best prevention," said Dr. Gifford.

However when your dog is bit, its important to remove the head of the tick from the skin, to decrease the risk of disease such as Lyme disease, which can be deadly.

"The thing with dogs, just like with people who get Lyme disease, you may be able to clear it up, and you may not. It may stay in their body for the rest of their life," said Dr. Gifford.

Some signs and symptoms that your pet may be infected include:
-Stiff walk with an arched back
-Sensitivity to touch
-Difficulty breathing
-Fever, lack of appetite, and depression
-Superficial lymph nodes close to the site of the infecting tick bite may be swollen
-Heart abnormalities are reported, but rare
-Nervous system complications (rare)

For more information speak to your veterinarian.