Warmer weather brings tick concerns to dog handlers

Posted at 4:34 PM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-19 20:23:09-04

WEST MICHIGAN -- As the weather continues to get warmer, you'll want to be on the lookout for ticks; not just on yourself, but on your pets as well.

There were more than 300 cases of Lyme Diseases reported in Michigan last year, and there are already some problems with it this spring.

The Kent County Sheriff's Department says Brice, a 1-year-old German Sherpard with the department's Search and Rescue division, recently became infested with ticks.

"For Search and Rescue, we go in all environments... whether that's wood, cornfields, apple orchards. We are out in it, and people don't typically stay on a path," said Don Vanderkooi with Kent County Search and Rescue.

Those are prime environments for ticks.

"They kind of hang out and wait for dogs and warm blooded mammals to attach on and begin their feeding," said Vanderkooi.

It happened to Brice. Vanderkooi found multiple ticks on her in the past few weeks.  The sheriff's department is now reminding people to check themselves and their pets after being outdoors.

"When you do a tick check on a dog, it's from nose to tail, you check methodically," said Vanderkooi. "In between the toes, the gum line, you check every part of the dog."

Officials say to use a tick remover if you find any of the insects.  But there are preventative measures you can take to reduce chances of tick bites, like medication, staying fully covered or repellent.

Click here for more information on ticks and Lyme Disease