Posts tagged: ticks
ANIMALS — A dog that walks like it's drunk, or starts loosing control of its legs, or unable to get up could have a number of ailments. But one thing you should check for immediately is tick paralysis.
The cure if caught early is as simple as removing the problem-causing tick.
Here's a case in point from Mary Franzel of North Idaho who encountered the problem over the weekend with her dog, Zip:
To my dog owner friends: Yesterday Zip got “Tick Paralysis.” It's a toxin that some ticks have that causes progressive paralysis. It started by her not being able to stand up on her hind legs to look out the window. It progressed to her barely being able to use her back legs.
Thank heavens Celeste Boatwright Grace happened to be over for a hike. After ruling out an injury, she thought of this tick borne disease. We found 4 ticks & after a bath I found one more. If the tick is removed soon enough it reverses & the dog usually returns to normal. It can be fatal if the tick remains attached & the dog ends up going into respiratory distress. It's most common in the Rocky Mountains & the Pacific Northwest.
Ponderay Vet has already seen 1 case last week. It is rare, but from now on I'm treating all my dogs with topical tick medication. A heads up - you may want to treat your dogs!
I tried to post a video of Zip stumbling but my speedy internet connection wouldn't let me. She is very tired today but seems to be walking fine. :-)
WILDLIFE — Hans Krauss, a Spokane Valley wildlife enthusiast and photographer, shot these photos of a bull moose in the Ponderosa neighborhood a few days ago.
What first caught his eye are the bases of where antlers had fallen off, and where the new antler growth soon will be sprouting.
But my first reaction was, “That poor bugger is infested with ticks.” If the grayish look, and the hair rubbed off in patches including the ears aren't an obvious clue, the engorged ticks on the moose's rump are graphic.
Indeed, Krauss's email with the photos came while I was on the phone conducting an interview with Rich Harris, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist in charge of special big-game species, such as moose. I was researching the decline of moost published for stories published in the Sunday Outdoors section:
I forwarded the photos to Harris, who in turn forwarded the photos to Kristen Mansfield, the state's wildlife veterinarian. Here are their comments:
…. Would appreciate your ideas. Rich Landers sent me these photos yesterday, nice close up of a bull photographed yesterday. He looks somewhat emaciated to me, and I wonder if this amount of grey color is shedding, old age, ticks, normal end of winter condition, or other? What do you think?
— Rich Harris
The whitish-grayish coloring of the legs is normal.
The thin hair and whitish-grayish coloring in the saddle area, neck, and rump are where he's been scratching at winter ticks. I think you can even see several ticks in his perineal area.
He does look thin, but not really emaciated to me. Kind of what I'd expect this time of year in an animal that appears to have had a miserable winter dealing with lots of ticks.
— Kristen Mansfield
FISHING — Spring-like conditions are advancing in leaps and bounds, as indicated by the experience of a friend who went fly fishing on Crab Creek in Lincoln County twice in the past 10 days.
On the first trip he hit a hatch, caught and released quite a few fish and encountered no ticks.
Buoyed by that experience, he returned to the creek on Monday.
“I caught four fish, and plucked off 25 ticks,” he said. “The tick season has arrived. I'll be fishing elsewhere.”
FISHING — A friend to took advantage of Tuesday's window of decent weather for an unplanned trip to sample the fly fishing at Crab Creek in Lincoln County.
Although he'd been to the creek and had decent success two weeks earlier, the water was off-color on Tuesday from the recent rain and the fishing was poor, he said.
“I was going to quit but then caught a nice fish so kept going,” he said. “Did not get another.”
But that's not to say he got skunked in every department.
“Part way through the day I stopped counting the number of ticks removed from my clothing at 100,” said.
Brave guy. When he was at Crab Creek in March, he picked off dozens of ticks in the field, in his vehicle on the drive, and still found four on his chest back home. Then he left on a ski vacation a week later, and found another attached in his scalp. He figures his car still holds Crab Creek ticks waiting their turn.
When he got home, his wife told him she found several in the sheets when she changed the bedding.
Be careful out there.
HIKING — The ticks are out in the scablands around the region, and they're thirsty.
Spokane hiker, writer and photographer Aaron Theisen offers this observation from his vast experience:
“Never go to a dinner party directly from an early-spring hike, unless you want to entertain guests with the old 'watch a tick crawl out of my shirt collar' trick.”
HIKING — What a difference a couple of warm days can make.
Neither my dog nor I picked up ticks in Wednesday's cold temperatures while hikng BLM's Lakeview Ranch near Odessa.
On Friday, after a couple warmer nights and days, a friend harvested a bumper crop of ticks while hiking and fly fishing at Crab Creek.
Be prepared, sage-country early-season hikers!
CREEPY CRITTERS — With a local girl being diagnosied with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, it's worthwhile for outdoors enthusiasts to reup our precautions against tick bites.
Following is my Thursday column on ticks and precautions against tick bites. However, the following blog version includes numerous links for more information about tick-borne diseases, treatments and precautions.
Read on to check it out.
HIKING — In your enthusiasm to get on the trail among the blooming wildflowers, don’t forget the basics of trekking in dryland areas:
•Take plenty of water plus a means of purifying water en route.
• Use sunscreen liberally and cover as much skin as possible with clothing, not only to protect from sun, but also from ticks.
• Ticks can be active and waiting, especially in sagebrush country. Pride yourself in the nerdy look: tuck pant legs into socks and wear light-colored lightweight long-sleeve shirts. Check for ticks in hair, and other places.
• Rattlesnakes are just as eager as hikers to get out and about. Be alert for them on the trail. Watch for movement in the grass. They don’t attack unless provoked, a concept that’s often lost on the family dog.
• Poison ivy infests many dryland areas, especially along river corridors, such as the Snake. While most hikers know the “leaves of three, leave it be” adage, some might not recognize the menacing plant in spring, before the leaves have come on. Watch for long or tall woody stems festooned with clumps of white berries. Contact with them can cause rashes.
• Carry a compass and a map of the area.
• Leave your trip itinerary with a responsible person who will contact authorities should you not return on schedule.
WILDLIFE — My day has been crawling with wildlife.
6 a.m.: Going out to get the newspaper, I see a robin chick has just broken out of its egg in the nest behind the house. Naked pink and squirming with a little shell still on its shoulder. It's only 43 degrees.
8 a.m.: While running the dogs near Airway Heights, my young English setter locked on point and then looked back at me as if to seek advice. He was 20 yards from a pack of milk chocolate brown fur-ball coyote pups just big enough to run away through the tall grass. We went the other direction.
5 p.m. I'm back from a waterfowl viewing trek through the Slavin Conservation Area wetlands south of Spokane. Turns out my wife and I and the two dogs brought some wildlife home with us.
A quick comb and brush job on the dogs fetched at least 20 ticks.
Meredith and I have each plucked a couple off ourselves. I found one crawling up the bathroom wall. I think I flicked one off accidentally into the wild turkey and Thai stir-fry I prepared for dinner.
I'm thinking we'll open a nice bottle of Merlot for the final tick check of the day.
GETTING OUT — Several Facebook friends have confirmed what I've already experienced:
Tick season has begun.
I don't mind looking like a dork when I hike, so I don't hesitate to tuck my pant legs into my socks this time of year, especially when hiking the scabland country such as near Fishtrap Lake or Palouse Falls.
Treach the cuffs and collor of your shirt, as well as your hat, with Permethrin, and you're in pretty good shape.
Do a tick check when you get home. The little buggers don't attach for hours after climbing aboard.