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Mild winter leads to rough tick season

According to veterinarians, the mild winter we've had means the flea and tick population is thriving.

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The sun shone on this mild winter day, and the warm weather was ideal for Doug Coffman to take his dog Ginny for a walk around the Lewisburg Farmers Market.

"She just got her trim yesterday, and we'll keep it this way right through until fall," Coffman said.

Part of the reason Coffman keeps Ginny's fur-trimmed is so he can spot fleas and ticks. We are coming into flea and tick season, but with this mild winter, there really was no offseason.

"We've been seeing them all winter long. Just this past week, we've pulled off a lot of ticks off of pets," said Dr. Jamie Vincent, a vet at the Lewisburg Veterinary Hospital. She recommends keeping pets on flea and tick treatment year-round.

"There's chewables that they take every 30 days. There's collars that last for eight months," Dr. Vincent said.

Issues with fleas and ticks are easy to prevent. You can pick up medication at your local vet's office.

When Newswatch 16 stopped by the Lewisburg Veterinary Hospital, one man was picking up some of that medication for his German shepherd. Pet owners know how important it is.

"I treat her monthly. I use a topical, and it's done its job. She hasn't had any problems," Coffman said.

Ticks carry Lyme disease, among other things. Fleas can also spread illnesses.

"Fleas can lead to some intestinal parasites as well, so I would take care of the major problem to avoid secondary issues you could have," Dr. Vincent said.

If you notice any fleas or ticks on your pets, veterinarians say you should bring your pet in for treatment.