What you need to know about Ticks!
Here are a few facts about ticks that will help you understand why it is recommended for some dogs to be placed on Tick prevention products, annually tested for Lyme antibodies or vaccinated for Lyme Disease.
Ticks are tiny bugs that hang out on the ground, long grasses and bushes.
They attach themselves to dogs or people while we pass by. They do not fly.
There are two seasons for Tick blooms: April-May and September-November
The two most common ticks in Canada are the American Dog Tick (bottom row) and the Deer Tick (top row).
The Deer Tick is the one that can transmit Lyme Disease to Dogs and Humans. Lyme Disease is the transmission of a bacterial agent known as Borrelia burgdorferi.
Endemic areas in Ontario for Lyme disease are Long Point Provincial Park, Turkey Point Provincial Park, Rondeau Provincial Park, Point Pelee National Park, Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, Wainfleet Bog Conservation Area, and in the St. Lawrence Islands National Park area.
The American Dog Tick present in Ontario does not typically carry any diseases.
If your dog enjoys running off leash in fields, trails or wooded areas you may wish to use a topical or oral Tick and Flea preventative product. These products greatly reduce any chances of a Tick latching on to your pooch.
If you take your dog frequently to any of the Lyme endemic areas listed above or to other endemic areas throughout North America you may not only want to use Tick prevention products but choose to vaccinate against Lyme disease as well. Blood testing for Lyme antibodies is also available.
Dr Julie Fell