Vet Talk: More to worry about: Tick season


April 24, 2020

Minnesota Department of Health photo

In Minnesota, there are about a dozen different types of ticks. Not all of them spread disease. Three types that people may come across in Minnesota are the blacklegged tick (deer tick), at the bottom of this photo; the American dog tick (wood tick), seen in the upper right; and the lone star tick. The blacklegged tick causes by far the most tickborne disease in Minnesota. People in Minnesota are often bitten by American dog ticks but they rarely spread diseases. American dog ticks may spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. Lone star ticks are rarely found in Minnesota, but can spread diseases such as ehrlichiosis and tularemia.

The snow has melted, the grass is turning green, and the weather is warming up. This can only mean one thing: It's tick season.

Ticks can be out at any time of year, but they have surges in the spring and fall. Although ticks can infest any mammal, dogs seem to be at a higher risk. This may be due to a combination of reasons. Dogs run through the bushes and grass where ticks are found, their fur makes it harder to see the ticks, and they are not the fastidious groomers that cats are. Cats can have ticks as well, but they tend to groom and remove the ticks almost immediately.

Ticks are gros...

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