Ticks, an ever increasing risk
Ticks have become an ever increasing risk for both our pets and their owners. The two principle ticks in Ontario are: Ixodes scapularis, or the black-legged tick/deer tick, and Dermacentor variablis, the American dog tick. Both can carry various infectious agents that can result in the transmission of tick borne diseases when they feed on their host. Of most concern in both dogs and people is Lyme disease. While tick feeding has seasonal peeks – spring and fall – the reality is that ticks can be active at temperatures greater than 0ºC, which translates into at least one or more days every month of the year. This year in Barrie, we calculated seven days in January, eleven days in February, and twenty days in March where we had above 0ºC high days and of course April through October all days were above 0ºC. This coupled with the fact that ticks are often sheltered from low temperatures in a forest’s leaf piles, means that every month poses a risk for tick exposure and the potential for acquiring a tick borne disease such as Lyme disease. Fortunately, there are very effective tickicides – products that kill ticks – available for use on our pets. While we can’t predict the temperature fluctuations, particularly in the cooler months, and attendant risk for tick exposure, we can ensure that your pet is protected by the use of an effective tickicide all year-round. Please ask us for more details on providing protection to your pets.