Campers It’s Tick Season Again
This weekend, veterinarians across Wasaga Beach in Ontario’s Simcoe County near Georgian Bay issued a warning to residents to check their dogs more often for black-legged ticks that can carry serious bacteria-based diseases.
Although the area has experienced fewer reports of tick-related disease transfer than surrounding counties, veterinarians have seen an increase in the number of tick-borne disease cases in pets since April. Lyme disease alone has affected 28 animals.
Dr. Kerry Volmers of the River Road Animal Hospital informed CTV that her clinic had eleven cases of Lyme disease and three cases of anaplasmosis recently. Lyme disease comes from the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and anaplasmosis from Anaplasma phagocytophilium.
The problem with ticks is not only their impact on pets: When pets carry ticks indoors, owners, family and guests are also at risk of suffering severe consequences if bitten.
Although common Lyme disease and anaplasmosis symptoms include rash and fever, the diseases can also cause an animal or person to experience chills, severe muscle pains, nervous system problems and hearing loss. If pets and people go untreated, these diseases can sometimes even cause death – especially in anyone who has a compromised immune system.
- Small parasitic arachnids.
- Hide in long grass and crawl onto your pet or humans.
- Can crawl around your pet for a couple days before they dig in and feed on animal’s blood.
- Initially tiny but grow in size once they feed; can hide on pet’s face, ears, groin and toes.
- Dogs may not feel the tick bite so owners much check.
- Not all black-legged ticks carry the bacteria, and the risk of getting Lyme disease is low if ticks are properly removed within 24 hours.
- In rare cases, Lyme disease can be fatal.
PROTECTING YOUR PET
- Ticks can be removed by the owner and some pet stores carry tick removal kits. There are also tick repellants and pills available to protect pets against ticks.
RISK TO HUMANS
- Lyme disease is a threat to humans, too. Symptoms range from fatigue and headaches to swollen lymph nodes, muscle and joint pain and abnormal heartbeat. It can be fatal to humans, but that is rare.
- When outdoors, especially in areas of tall grass:
- Wear closed-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Pull socks over pant legs.
- Use insect repellent containing DEET.
- Do a full-body check for ticks on yourself, children and pets
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