Spring is almost here! And with that great news, come (hopefully sooner than later) warm temperatures and maybe more sunshine. What we are not looking forward to this spring and beyond, is the return of ticks.

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I have three dogs, and my wife and I are constantly checking them over after spending time outside for ticks, as well as ourselves. Especially when we spend time at camp in the country, in Pennsylvania, where ticks are more prevalent.

Surprisingly though, last year, the only time we discovered a tick on our dogs was in our backyard in Johnson City. Nothing during our visit over the course of 6 months at camp.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentions that "vaccines are not available for most of the tickborne diseases that dogs can get." You are the best prevention by checking over your dogs for ticks. If you see one, remove it right away. There are several inexpensive tick removal products available.

According to the CDC, check for ticks on your dog in these areas: Around the eyelids and tail, in and around the ears between the back legs and toes, and under the collar and front legs.

Also, talk with a veterinarian about the best tick-prevention product. Another way to help curb ticks on your property is to reduce tick habitat. Click here for the CDC recommendations.

How about tick prevention for humans? According to the New York State Department of Health, an infected deer tick could result in Lyme disease.

These are some important tips from the NYS DOH:

  • Using tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  • Gently pull the tick in a steady, upward motion.
  • Wash the area with a disinfectant.
  • When trying to remove the tick:
    • DO NOT touch the tick with your bare hands.
    • DO NOT squeeze the body of the tick as this may increase your risk of infection.
    • DO NOT put alcohol, nail polish remover, or Vaseline on the tick.
    • DO NOT put a hot match or cigarette on the tick in an effort to make it "back out."
    • DO NOT use your fingers to remove the tick.

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