Canada’s Tick SituationTicks are becoming a big problem in Canada and fast. This is the gist of the message being sent to citizens by experts like those at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory. The director of the organization’s Public health Risk Sciences division, Nick Ogden, has confirmed that Canada has been receiving ‘a steady rain of ticks’ that has been increasing. The culprit behind this sudden swarm? Climate change! Canada’s climate was previously too cold for ticks to thrive, but starting with Southern Canada, temperatures are climbing, making the environment more suitable for them.
The Ticks-Lyme Disease ConnectionTicks are parasitic in nature and multiply quickly if left untreated. They occupy the bodies of people and pets primarily for the purpose of feeding from the host. Among the negatives associated with ticks is the infamous Lyme disease. Cases of Lyme Disease have climbed from a low of 144 in 2009 to an all-time high of 2025 in 2017. This bacterial infection may be transferred to an animal or person during what is known as the occupying phase, causing long term or short term illness. The infection appears with the following symptoms: a small rash (normally red), swelling of the lymph nodes, fever, chills, headaches, excessive fatigue along with muscle and joint pains. The wider the range infested by the ticks, the higher the possibility and the multiplying effect of their damage.
Protecting People and PetsIn an effort to protect your children, yourself and pets there are simple practices you can follow. Ticks love humid, moist conditions so you should be extra vigilant during warmer seasons such as summer. Ticks will wait on long grass for an unsuspecting target to walk by, latching onto them if possible. Wildlife is also a very big contributor to ticks being spread as the insects are not very particular as to the type of host they choose to thrive on. Ticks do not make it easy for you to find on your pet. Here are some common hiding spots to check on your pet:
- Head, Neck and in and around the ears
- Under the collar
- Between the toes