Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: ticks

Canine Lifetime Lyme Study

Posted in Dogs
At the 2018 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) forum, Dr. Michelle Evason gave an update on the Canadian canine lifetime study. I don’t think I’ve written about it before, but the short version is that it’s a longterm (lifetime, hopefully) study following a large group of dogs, looking at Lyme disease, tick exposure,… Continue Reading

Tick, tick, tick…Check!

Posted in Cats, Dogs
By Dr. Michelle Evason, University of Prince Edward Island We’re all worried about ticks. Ticks on dogs, ticks on cats, ticks on horses and ticks on us. The reason for this concern is twofold: no-one wants to get sick (or have a loved one get sick), and ticks are quite simply “gross.” In dogs and… Continue Reading

Tick maps, May 2018

Posted in Dogs
Our first set of tick maps are available at PetsAndTicks.com. I don’t think there are any great surprises so far, but it’s interesting to see where black legged ticks are being reported. The Ontario map is copied below but the website has maps from submissions from across Canada. To answer a recent question…yes, we accept… Continue Reading

Will you test my tick?

Posted in Dogs, Parasites
If you’d asked me a few years ago, I wouldn’t have said that’s a question I’d expect to get (daily). However, we’re in a different world tick-wise now, so it’s a common and understandable question, particularly because of our tick tracking efforts. The answer is no/possibly/maybe later. How’s that for a straight answer? We are… Continue Reading

Tick identification: Canada

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses
As part of our recently launched PetsAndTick.com information and tick-tracker website, we are offering a pilot tick identification program. We will be offering identification of ticks that are removed from animals (non-human animals, to be specific). The program will complement our tick-tracking efforts and help gather more information about expanding tick ranges and incursions of… Continue Reading

PetsAndTicks.com

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses, Other animals
After a particularly miserable spring here (to put it mildly), it’s finally warming up, and the snow’s almost gone. That’s the good news. The bad news is that ticks are also going to start coming out and looking for food – that means looking for animals (including us). I assume there will be lots of… Continue Reading

Lone Star ticks and meat allergy: Is there a concern in dogs?

Posted in Dogs
Lone-Star-tick-associated meat allergy is an interesting phenomenon in people that is getting a lot of attention, especially as these ticks (like others) are expanding their range.  The condition itself is one of those odd-ball quirks of nature that you’d never expect. The basic story goes like this: galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal) is a carbohydrate that’s part of cell… Continue Reading

When bugs don’t read the books

Posted in Cats, Dogs
Minus 20C weather is supposed to have some benefits – at least that’s what we try to tell ourselves. (Maybe we’re just trying to justify why we haven’t migrated south.) I’ve written about leptospirosis a few times recently, given the horrible lepto season we’ve been having. This bacterial disease isn’t new, but there have been… Continue Reading

Close encounters of the ‘tick’ kind…Your pet, pathogens & Lyme disease

Posted in Dogs, Horses, Other diseases, Parasites
Guest Blog by Dr. Michelle Evason DVM DipACVIM, and current PhD student researching Lyme disease in dogs Recently, an interesting article on pet ownership and human tick risk was published (Jones et al, Zoonoses and Public Health 2017). The study looked at risk factors for “tick encounters” in people living in Lyme disease endemic states in the… Continue Reading

Fatal viral infection from a cat?

Posted in Cats
One thing that’s a given with infectious diseases is that there’s always something new to learn. Interestingly, I had a couple enquiries about an obscure virus last week, and was subsequently sent a link to a news report about the same disease: severe fever with thrombocytopenia virus. As the mouthful of a name suggests, the virus… Continue Reading

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