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Archive for the 'Lyme Disease' Category

Spring Brings the Creepy Crawlies out of Hiding – Part 3: Ticks & Lyme Disease


Over the last few years, the number of ticks we are seeing on our veterinary patients has been steadily increasing, below is some general information on the creepy crawlies and things to be aware of if you find one on your pet.

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Ticks and Lyme Disease

Lyme disease in humans is now a reportable disease in Ontario.  Its seriousness can not be overstated.  The symptoms of the disease can be obscure and if not tested for can go undiagnosed for weeks causing very serious consequences.

Our dogs are 50 times more likely to be exposed to the ticks that transmit the disease than are humans.  They can’t tuck their pants into their socks and avoid wooded or grassy areas.  Our dogs are picking up ticks even from their own backyards.  These ticks are tiny – the size of a sesame seed!  Try to find that in your furry friend. 

Because of the growing concern with Lyme disease, which is a bacterial infection injected into the body from the bite of a tick, our hospital is now part of a growing number of veterinary hospitals which will be monitoring for the disease this year and successive years as it is only through monitoring that we will know how many of our dogs have already been bit by the Lyme carrying tick.

Once bit by an infected tick symptoms can lie dormant for weeks or years.  Eventually, however, the disease breaks out and the symptoms of the disease can include : fever, sore neck, swollen joints, meningitis, acute kidney failure and death.

By testing to see if the animal has ever been bit by the Lyme carrying tick we can treat the disease before the symptoms occur and then vaccinate to prevent recurrence.

So when asked this year to participate in the monitoring program do not hesitate to jump on board.  The test is a blood test which we are getting anyway for heartworm or wellness testing and the price is minimal.  If you  have removed a tick you can bring it in and we will send it out to the lab for testing to see if it is the right species of tick and if so then to test to see if it is carrying the bacteria responsible for  the disease.

An excellent website to check out is