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Western New York bracing for an uptick in ticks

Posted: 6:51 PM, Apr 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-24 22:51:50Z

They look small and harmless. But, 26-year-old Andrea Dole will tell you ticks can create some real chaos. 

The Collins woman has been living with Lyme Disease for almost 14 years. She travels to Pennsylvania several times a year for treatment and forced to take nearly 20 pills to stay healthy. 

“I lost my independence. There was a time for a while I needed a cane and an oxygen tank just to leave the house,” Dole said. 

Lyme Disease is caused by tick bites. It can cause the same harm to pets as it does to people. 

Dr. Linsday Vanvolkinburg is a veterinarian at Brighton-Eggert Animal Clinic in the Town of Tonawanda. She said typically the bugs come out of hibernation when it starts getting warm. The clinic is already starting to see pets come in.

“There will be some ticks that are carrying these diseases and there will be some ticks that are not carrying these diseases,” Dr. Vanvolkinburg.  

There are several meds and even collars to keep ticks and fleas away. Pet owners can even take precaution as well, by checking their pets for ticks, avoid tall grass or wooded areas, wear insect repellant with deet, and keep the legs of your pants tucked in to your socks.

“You don't want one little bug bite to ruin the rest of your life,” Dole said.  

Dole is part of a group called Lyme Western New York. The group is planning several events in May to bring awareness to the tick problem. The City of Buffalo and Niagara Falls are set to light up green on May 19th to bring awareness as well. To learn more about Lyme Western New York click www.lymewny.com

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