Even in Alaska, ticks gaining a stronghold

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says the number of ticks in the state is on the rise.

Alaska has had types such as vole and squirrel ticks that are found on wildlife, but newer to the state are two kinds of dog ticks, said Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen, a wildlife veterinarian.

“Those are not known to be occurring in Alaska, and we were finding them on not just pets that were coming up, travelers, but also on pets that had never been outside of Alaska,” Beckmen told KTVA-TV. “With repeated introduction, they’ve established themselves and they’re reproducing here.”

The dog ticks and other species have been found across the state. Beckmen said she is trying to spread the word to pet owners, doctors and veterinarians.

“These ticks can transmit a number of diseases that can make dogs sick, that are specific to dogs, but are also diseases that people can get,” she said.

Those include Lyme disease, tularemia and even a sudden and potentially severe red meat allergy.

Beckmen said the best way to keep pets safe is a monthly topical treatment applied on a dog’s neck and back from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

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