Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: ticks

Lyme disease: The Difference Between Knowing and Actually Doing…

Posted in Dogs, Horses
Guest blog by Dr. Michelle Evason, DVM DipACVIM (as well as current PhD student and coordinator of our Lifetime Lyme Study) In 2014, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) initiated a 3-year marketing campaign (news, advertisements, social media, collaboration with Parks Canada to post signage, etc.) to try to raise the general public’s awareness and… Continue Reading

New Ontario Lyme Disease Risk Map

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses
To continue the map-posting binge that I’ve been on lately, Public Health Ontario has just posted their updated Lyme Disease Risk Areas map for 2017.  For comparison, you can still also access the 2016 map too, and you can see that the risk areas have indeed expanded somewhat, particularly in Eastern Ontario. The estimated risk… Continue Reading

Tick Tracker Update

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses
Our online Pet Tick Tracker continues to receive lots of submissions, so here are some interesting maps showing some of the preliminary information compiled so far.  The maps show where the ticks are being reported, but remember that they’re not necessarily reflective of the true overall picture, since it depends on who is reporting and who isn’t reporting.… Continue Reading

PetTickTracker Update

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses
Over the years, we’ve tried a variety of new approaches to promote awareness (among the public, veterinarians and others) and to collect relevant research information. Some (like this blog) have taken on a life of their own and exceeded our expectations. Some didn’t go very far. Our most recent initiative is the PetTickTracker, a website designed… Continue Reading

Pet Tick Tracker

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses
It’s pretty clear that tick ranges are changing. In Ontario, we’ve seen movement of ticks into areas where they were never seen before, as well as potential changes in the types of ticks that are found in different areas. The potential for tickborne diseases like Lyme disease highlights the importance of understanding tick distributions. Knowing where… Continue Reading

There’s a Test For That! But, Is There a Need?

Posted in Dogs
Some diagnostic tests that are available are more of a situation of a test looking for a market rather than filling a clinical need for additional information. That complicates matters since providing new information isn’t necessarily useful if we don’t know what to do with it. In some situations, it can even lead to bad decisions.… Continue Reading

Lyme Disease and Dogs Infographic

Posted in Dogs
The Ontario Animal Health Network – Companion Animal has released a new infographic on Ticks and Lyme Disease in Ontario: What’s The Real Risk?  It’s obviously Ontario-centric but some of the messages apply more broadly. It’s important to consider what the real risk of exposure is, and that involves thinking about things like how common Borrelia… Continue Reading

Babesiosis in a Puppy: Ontario

Posted in Dogs
While it’s unlikely that any given patient will have a rare disease, we need to remain vigilant for such conditions because they’re easy to miss. That’s just common sense – if we rarely see something, it doesn’t jump to mind when examining a patient. Babesiosis is one such disease. It’s seen commonly in some regions, but it’s really rare… Continue Reading

Equine anaplasmosis: Ontario

Posted in Horses
Another Ontario issue to report: this one is in a horse. Recently, a case of anaplasmosis was identified in a horse in Eastern Ontario. People in some places may say “so what?” The reason it’s noteworthy is that anaplasmosis has historically been a very rare disease in Ontario. It’s a infection caused by the bacterium Anaplasma… Continue Reading

Tick ID card

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses
Knowing your ticks is important. Certain ticks are able to transmit certain diseases, so knowing what to look for, on yourself and your animals, is useful. To help with that, Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health has released a quick-reference Tick ID Card.  When folded in half, it’s about the size of a business card, so… Continue Reading

Do headline writers actually read the articles?

Posted in Dogs
Part I Lyme disease is accompanied by enough paranoia. Bad headlines don’t help. A recent article on The Daily Mail is about Lyme disease and pets. It’s actually not a bad article, outlining some important issues. However, the headline shows a big disconnect between some good content in the article and a complete misunderstanding of… Continue Reading

Lyme disease & ticks: New infosheet

Posted in Other diseases
The latest Worms & Germs infosheet, all about Lyme disease and ticks, is now available on the Resources – Pets page.  Although it’s getting colder and occasionally snowy up in Ontario, there are lots of parts of North America where ticks are active all year round.  It’s particularly important for any "snowbirds" who may travel… Continue Reading

Flea collar withdrawal in France

Posted in Dogs
A group of flea (or flea and tick) collars have been removed from the market in France following a risk assessment. The review looked at these widely available, over-the-counter products that contain a variety of different chemicals. The determination was that the risks posed by contact with the collars (particularly to children) were unacceptable compared… Continue Reading

No Answer In Aussie Horse Deaths

Posted in equIDblog
Despite relatively intensive efforts, no cause has been identified for the deaths of 22 horses ona Kooralbyn farm in Queensland, Australia. Readily identifiable causes have been ruled out, leaving two main theories: As mentioned in an earlier post, one possibility is botulism It can be very hard to diagnose botulism in horses, and the disease… Continue Reading

Dogs as human Lyme disease sentinels

Posted in Dogs
A paper that will be published in the September edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases (Mead et al 2011) talks about the potential for dogs to act as indicators of Lyme disease activity and risk for people. The use of animals as sentinels for human disease is well established. Sometimes it’s because animals are more readily… Continue Reading

Rare tickborne infection in Minnesota woman

Posted in Other diseases
A Minnesota woman has died of Powassan virus encephalitis, a very rare neurological disease transmitted by ticks. Powassan virus is most often found in parts of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, but there is evidence of it in many other parts of North America as well, and as far away as Russia. Human infections are very… Continue Reading

Travel, pets and infectious disease risks

Posted in Dogs
An important concept when dealing with infectious diseases is consideration of the risk that an animal has been, or will be, exposed to a particular microorganism. Some diseases vary greatly geographically, and something that’s very important in one region may be rare or non-existent in another. Good veterinarians are aware of disease trends in their… Continue Reading

Lyme disease in Australia?

Posted in Other diseases
The world is certainly getting "smaller," especially in terms of infectious diseases.  One example is the renewed controversy this month over the existence of Lyme disease in Australia.  A Sydney man was recently diagnosed with the disease following his death, and now a doctor from Laurieton claims to have "absolute proof" of at least two… Continue Reading

Tick bite irony

Posted in Other diseases
Canadian singer Alanis Morissette wrote a song called "Ironic" that (ironically) doesn’t really describe irony: Rain on your wedding day, a free ride when you already paid, a black fly in your Chardonnay… they all suck but they’re not ironic. What is ironic is Dr. Ed Breitschswerdt, an internationally renowned veterinary internist and tickborne disease… Continue Reading

Lyme disease from a dog: Don’t believe everything you read

Posted in Dogs
InsideToronto.com published an article entitled "Unsuspecting resident contracts Lyme disease from pet dog". However, Lyme disease cannot be transmitted from dogs to people. Lyme disease is a tickborne disease caused by the bacterium Borrellia burgdorferi. This bacterium is transmitted from wildlife reservoirs to people and pets by ticks that have fed on an infected animal,… Continue Reading

Canadian parasite treatment guidelines for pets

Posted in Cats, Deworming, Dogs, Parasites
Canadian Guidelines for the Treatment of Parasites in Dogs and Cats have recently been released. These guidelines were developed by an expert panel, consisting of six Canadian veterinary parasitologists and two private practitioners. They provide a good, balanced approach to the treatment of parasites, with an emphasis on the risks present in different regions and… Continue Reading