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Ticks – Why Should You Care?

Spring is a peak time for activity of adult ticks, with younger forms being active in late spring and early summer. As “tick season” is approaching, it is important to understand why we should be vigilant in preventing tick bites.

Where are ticks?
Multiple species of ticks are present throughout New Brunswick and our neighbouring provinces.

Common areas to find ticks include:

  • High grassy areas
  • Wooded, urban, coastal and beach areas
  • Leaf piles
  • Fallen or low hanging branches
  • Overgrown shrubs
  • Moist/Humid environment

Why are ticks a problem?
As well as the inherent repulsion many humans have toward ticks, they can pass along a serious disease to you or your pet.

Borelli burgdorferi – Lyme Disease

  • Present in New Brunswick and surrounding provinces
  • Can affect both humans and dogs
  • Signs may include fever, joint pain/lameness, and possible kidney damage
  • Ticks must be attached for 24-48 hours to transmit disease
  • Prognosis depends upon clinical signs, organ involvement, and length of infection

Anaplasmosis

  • Rare but may occur in New Brunswick
  • Can affect both humans and dogs
  • Signs include fever, joint pain/lameness, and lethargy
  • Prognosis may be good depending on when the disease is diagnosed

Babesiosis

  • Rare but may occur in New Brunswick
  • Can affect both humans and dogs
  • Signs may include sudden collapse and shock, dark urine, and fever.
  • The disease may slowly progress with no apparent clinical signs.
  • Prognosis is generally poor.

What can we do?
Tick prevention — there are multiple products available for cats and dogs to prevent ticks.
Please contact your veterinarian to determine the best product for your pets.
Disease prevention — there is a vaccine available for canine Lyme disease. Please contact your veterinarian to discuss vaccination of your dog.
Full body checks — after exploring areas that are likely to house ticks, it is important to perform a full body check on you and your pets. Areas that you should focus on on your pets include:

  • Near the eyes
  • Inside the ears
  • Inside the legs/groin area
  • Between the toes
  • Around the collar

Written by: Dr. Nicole Mann, DVM

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