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06-2022

A simple test can help your pet avoid ticks this season – Lacombe Express

A simple test can help your pet avoid ticks this season - Lacombe Express

As the days get longer and the weather is nicer, pets and their owners will spend more time outside.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) said the risk of Lyme disease in the province’s tick population is currently low, but staff at the Rimbe Veterinary Clinic and Lacombe Pet Clinic said there are things pet owners can do to stay safe.

“The best approach is to use preventive medications from your vet, but avoiding tall grass can help,” said Karen Duvall, registered veterinary technologist (RVT) at Rimbe Veterinary Clinic.

She added that even a simple checkup when your pet comes inside is a great way to prevent problems.

“Look under the neck, ears, eyes and limbs,” Duvall said. It is also recommended to check between the toes on all paws and around and under the pet’s tail.

Dr Sukhbir Nain, Veterinarian at Lacombe Pet Clinic said that if you find a tick on your pet, it is best to remove it immediately because prolonged skin contact can lead to a variety of diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky May be. Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, babesiosis. Lyme disease is an infection caused by the spiral-shaped bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is usually transmitted through a tick bite.

“Not all ticks transmit Lyme disease, but there are two types of ticks that are capable of spreading it in Canada. One is the black-legged or deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) located in the southeastern and south-central regions of Canada. , the other is the black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) located in western Canada.

He said that ticks are most active when the temperature starts rising above 4 degrees Celsius. Adding that the best method of removal is to use tweezers or tick remover to hold the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull it out slowly in a straight and steady motion.

“You should hold the tick as close to the head as possible and not twist,” Duvall said. “This puts the head at risk of cracking and infection.”

“When it comes to cleaning and aftercare, it’s recommended to put a tick in a closed container and mark that date,” said Amanda Casey, RVT at Lacombe Pet Clinic. “If your pet should exhibit any signs of tick-borne illnesses, your veterinarian may want to test it or test it on him.”

Dr. Nain and Casey said typical symptoms include arthritis or lameness, swollen joints, fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite and neurological issues.

“You will want to wash your hands, sterilize tweezers, and wipe your pet’s wound with an antiseptic after removing the tick. Keep an eye on the tick site and if it remains irritated or develops an infection, you should see it as soon as possible. Should make an appointment with your vet,” Casey said.

“We are not yet at risk of Lyme disease, but the government of Alberta has a tick surveillance program in place to track ticks to see if someone transmitting Lyme disease is in the area,” Duvall said.

Through the eTick.ca “Submit-a-Tick,” program, species determination and B. Ticks can be submitted for the Burgdorffi test.

New to the program this year, Alberta is rapidly implementing photo submissions for tick species. The first step is to submit a photograph of a tick sample taken with a smartphone or digital camera and submit it to eTick using the eTick app or via eTick.ca.

The eTick app can be downloaded for free from Google Play or the Apple App Store. Tick ​​photographs are usually examined to determine species with results provided to the presenter within one business day.

Laboratory testing of the requested ticks began on July 19, 2021. For laboratory testing, it is recommended that residents contact their local veterinarian. In order to streamline the use of the laboratory, only those ticks will be accepted in the laboratory which are requested to be produced for further testing after e-tick photo screening. The AHS said most ticks found in Alberta are not the type that can transmit Lyme disease. Submission of requested ticks to the laboratory is optional but allows Alberta Health to monitor ticks of public health concern in Alberta.

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