If you’re planning to spend time outdoors this holiday weekend, one U of G researcher says it’s important for you and your pet to take precautions to avoid ticks.
In Ontario, the blacklegged tick poses the greatest risk; it can transmit several pathogens including the bacterium that causes Lyme disease in humans, dogs and horses.
“We aren’t trying to scare people away from nature – enjoying the outdoors is crucial for health and well-being,” says Katie Clow, a post-doctoral researcher at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). “The important thing is taking the proper precautions – for you and your pets – when venturing into wooded and bushy areas.”
Staying on marked paths, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, applying a repellent containing DEET or icaridin, and doing a thorough tick check when you get home are some of the precautions you can take, says Clow.
You can protect your dog by using a veterinary-approved tick preventive and doing a tick check.
Clow has worked with Profs. Scott Weese, Department of Pathobiology, and Michelle Evason at the Atlantic Veterinary College to develop the website, www.petsandticks.com. This site provides evidence-based information on ticks in Canada, and also houses the Pet Tick Tracker where pet owners and veterinarians can submit findings of ticks on pets.