The whimsy of weather keeps every Canadian connected with (and frequently at the mercy of) nature. And, while the country is currently getting a blast of chill, we’re also entering the ‘end of February’ slide to spring-summer steam.
So, whether you’re dreaming of prepping your garden, getting ready for bird-watching or anticipating the start of lobster season (Oops- that’d be me!), be aware that the incoming warmth also feels good to creepy crawlies, i.e. ticks. Temperatures above 4’Celsius mean tick bites and the consequent need for tick bite prevention- for you and your 4 footed family members.
If ticks do bite and attach, it's pretty important to remove them, identify (ID) them AND test them for potential pathogens. Tick testing provides awareness of what’s ‘out there’ and enables a One Health approach to education on risk, disease and prevention for animals as well as people. Since Canada’s public health monitoring of ticks on companion animal program has been discontinued, a gap has needed to be filled. As such, tick identification (& testing) on ticks found attached to companion animals will be starting again this spring. This ID and testing will be performed as a collaborative approach through Canadian veterinary clinics nationally and coordinated through the the Canadian Pet Tick Survey on www.petsandticks.com.
Additional information can be found on the Canadian Pet Tick Survey and this latest blog posted by lead researcher Dr. Katie Clow:
Similar to the Canadian K9 Lifetime Study (UPDATE), these types of studies can only be performed through dedicated veterinary clinic and pet-owner involvement. Having a mutual goal of improving health (for the 4 and 2 legged) Canadians across the country is a wonderful thing !