"He could have picked it up in the backyard or on an earlier walk to the park."
Observation by Pamela Szatanek:
I was hiking with my doberman this week. He has very short hair and because he had an episode with melanoma earlier in the year, I have been checking his skin closely. On July 16th, I noticed a tick embedded in his skin. He could have picked it up in the backyard or on an earlier walk. I usually walk him in South Anchorage near Oceanview Bluff Park. I also walk him at Kincaid, but I have not been there recently. I used to live in DC and there were lots of ticks we had to deal with there. This was the first summer since moving to Alaska that I have seen ticks on my dog, and he has not been out of Alaska all year. I pulled two ticks off of him at different times just in the past four to six weeks. One I disposed of immediately. This one, the second one, I removed and took a picture. Please note: this is not a picture of the full tick. The tick was embedded and broke off in my dog. If it happens again, I will take a better picture. The tick was full of blood so the dog had definitely been bitten.
Comments from LEO Editors:
This is the first observation published in LEO Network about dog ticks in Alaska. We have seen observations about native ticks on rabbits and squirrels, but the dog ticks are relatively new to the state. Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has partnered with Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) in a new effort to test ticks that residents find. Testing will identify tick species that are new to Alaska, as well as disease they may carry.
It is important to carefully look for ticks that you or your pet may have picked up while outside. The Center for Disease Control has several resources available for those interested in learning more about ticks, including how to check pets for tick bites. If you or your pets have been bitten by a tick, you should keep an eye out for any symptoms and if you notice any, tell your doctor or veterinarian. Found ticks can be submitted to ADF&G by following the steps below. Remember, getting a good picture and sample of a whole tick is important for proper identification. You can post the picture on LEO Network along with the location and story. *Mike Brubaker*
Micah Hahn, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health at UAA, writes:
Thanks for the post and letting us know about this tick! We're right in the middle of a study tracking the emergence of new tick species in Alaska, so the best thing you can do is to fill out the "Submit-A-Tick" form and submit your tick to the Office of the State Vet. It is particularly important to include a location where you think your dog got the tick and information about whether or not you or your dog traveled within Alaska or outside of the state in the past 2 weeks. There is a space to include this information on the form.
Ticks submitted by the public will be identified by species and tested for pathogens. For more information, see ths Submit-A-Tick webpage and outreach materials.
If you are interested in submitting a tick that you have found, follow the steps below:
Carefully remove the tick if it is attached and feeding.
Put the tick into a clean, small plastic or metal container (e.g. vial or small pill bottle). Multiple ticks from the same person or animal may be placed into one container. If ticks are collected from more than one person or animal, please use separate containers.
Place the container into a Ziploc bag.
Print and complete an Alaska "Submit-A-Tick" form (see attached documents). If ticks are collected from more than one person or animal, a >separate submission form should be completed for each person or animal and placed in a separate Ziploc bag with the >appropriate container of ticks.
Place the sealed Ziploc bag(s) with ticks and submission form(s) in an envelope or small box and ship to:
Office of the State Veterinarian
5251 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99507
You can also submit ticks by taking them to your local Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) office.
See also: article by Riley Woodford: Submit a Tick