Ticks in Ontario
Ticks have now become common parasites in many parts of Ontario. They can be found anywhere, from the dark of the deep woods to the long grass in urban parks. Unfortunately, thousands of dogs and cats in the United States and Canada become infected with serious tick transmitted diseases each year. These illnesses include Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis and others.
With the increased risk that ticks pose to pets, the spread of vector-borne disease such as Lyme is also a threat to the human population. Although dogs are not direct sources of the human infection, transmission of the disease to dogs can indicate the potential for infections in people (and vice versa). It is possible however that because ticks are more likely to stay on dogs for the 24 hours needed to transmit the Lyme bacterium, dogs may be more likely to be exposed to the disease.
With this in mind, it is extremely important to start your pet on preventive measures (topical or oral medications) to prevent against tick transmitted diseases. Annual examinations and blood testing are also needed to screen for vector borne diseases as the symptoms are often difficult to recognize. By the time clinical signs are evident to the pet owner, it is often too late to and permanent damage has already occurred to the pet.
For more information about the tests and products that are available, please contact Kortright Animal Hospital at 519-824-7190.
Don’t wait until your pet has a tick to get started on prevention. By that point, it may be too late!
If you do find a tick on your pet, please visit: http://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/2017/05/articles/animals/dogs/pet-tick-tracker/
Pet Tick Tracker is a new surveillance study, coordinated by Dr. Scott Weese at the University of Guelph. It has been designed to track the presence and spread of ticks on pets. Information will be used for tick surveillance activities by the University of Guelph and may also be used by public health agencies for the same purpose.