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Keep Your Pets Safe From Ticks This Summer, Expert Explains How

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Lyme disease is expected to be an issue this summer not only for humans but your dog too. One expert explains what preventive measures you can take to protect your pet.

Lyme disease is one of the most common diseases a tick can carry so after checking yourself make sure you also examine your dog for the insects.

Dr. Kathern McGonigle is with the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

"You want to make sure you get the head out and often a pair of tweezers right close to the skin and directly pulling upwards is a good idea, she said. "There are also tick spoons or tick forks out there that you can slide under the tick around the head and pull up with those and they are extremely helpful."

ALSO READ: Experts Warn Of Tick-Borne Illnesses As Summer Approaches

She says it takes about 24 hours before a tick carrying Lyme can transmit the disease to your pet.

There are a number of tick preventive sprays on the market and a Lyme vaccine is available, something that can be discussed with your dog's veterinarian.

Dr. Kathern McGonigle says less than 10 percent of the dogs that are exposed to the disease actually ever demonstrate clinical signs of illness.

The signs can include transient lameness, joint swelling, or fever and most dogs that contract Lyme disease can be treated.

Don't forget you should take preventive measures as well. Experts say if a dog has Lyme disease it means its present in the environment and could be a possible threat to you.

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