Wanted: Dead or Alive

With spring finally here, we start to think about getting out and about with our dogs. While it has been a long winter for us, the ticks are also welcoming spring and the chance to start a feeding frenzy.

It seems that tick populations are on the rise in our area. A relatively new website originating from the University of Guelph that offers great information for pet owners has been tracking tick species in Ontario. Unfortunately for those of us in the north, the data for our area has been lacking. We are hoping to change this! For the next year, Baxter Animal Hospital is participating in the Canadian Pet Tick Survey to determine which ticks are present in our area and the incidence of disease in those ticks.

That’s where we need your help. Please submit to us any ticks that you find near or on your cat or dog. The tick may be dead or alive. If you are not comfortable removing the tick on your own, please call for advice or to make an appointment.

We will submit ticks monthly for the study. The type of tick will be identified and communicated to us. The tick will also be tested for tick-borne diseases (including Lyme disease). The disease test results will be included in the final report to be released in 2020. Many factors determine whether an individual pet will or will not develop symptoms of Lyme disease after a tick bite. Note: individual test results will not be made available to the public. This piece of information is being used for surveillance only – that is, to give us an idea of the prevalence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in the area. There is no cost to you, the pet owner, to submit ticks for this study.

Updates about the study will be available here. You will find lots of helpful information about ticks here as well.

We are happy to answer any questions that you might have about the study. Just give us a call.

Written by: Joanne, DVM