Hitch-Hikers Lurking in Brampton, Ontario

I’m sure you are sick of us here at Snelgrove Vet always talking about ticks, but this week we had a dog brought in to have a tick removed that we typically don’t even see in Ontario! When we removed the tick, I have to admit, the staff here had different opinions of what type of tick it was. However, one thing we could all agree on was the small white dot present on it’s back. The only tick we know of that has that dot is The Lone Star Tick (which gets its name from that spot.) This tick is predominately found in the eastern, south-eastern and central United States.

So, what exactly does that mean?

In order to confirm the identity of this mystery tick, we sent it to our local laboratory for definitive identification. And yes, we were right – it was indeed a Lone Star tick. Now the big question was, where did it come from and how did it end up in Brampton, Ontario??

We asked the owner “Have you been travelling?” “Have you had someone come visit you?” “Have you taken your dog anywhere?” and the answer to all of our questions was, “No, our dog has not left our backyard.” We then decided to give the laboratory a call and speak to the parasitologist. We asked him, “Are you sure of your identification?” Definitely not a question to be asking a professional with a medical degree, but we did it anyway. And yes! It is a Lone Star tick and although they are not native to Ontario they are found here occasionally – usually hitching a ride on a migratory bird. Now that’s hitch-hiking!

Due to their voracious appetite, the Lone Star tick actively seeks people and animals to feed from. Yuck.

Now, our question to you is: Do you love Hamburgers and Steaks?

If the answer is yes, then here’s a scary piece of information… A bite from this tick can actually make you seriously allergic to red meat! Yep, you heard us right – allergic to the point of going into anaphylactic shock and taking an emergency trip to the hospital.

As if that isn’t bad enough, they can also cause a myriad of other health issues as well, such as Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (S.T.A.R.I.), Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, ehrlichiosis and tularemia. And, although it is not yet proven that these ticks carry Lyme disease, some studies are starting to question otherwise.

In light of the discovery of this Lone Star tick on one of our patients here in Brampton, it’s probably a good thing we talk about ticks so often! 😉

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Meet Frost!

Frost

Meet Frost. What a handsome boy he is 🙂 Frost is a 7-year-old Siberian Husky. His owner took him for a nice long hike along the Bruce Trail/Niagara Escarpment yesterday, near the Devil’s Punch Bowl in Hamilton. This morning they found a tick on him. After taking a closer look through his coat, they realized there were multiple ticks. They even found 1 on themselves. That’s when they brought him in to us.

Frost didn’t only have 1 or 2 or 3 ticks, we pulled 22 ticks off of him!! Not including all the ones that went down the bathtub.

Luckily for Frost these ticks were American Dog Ticks. These ticks are not known to carry any diseases in Canada.

American Dog Ticks

If you would like to know how to prevent your dog from getting ticks, give us a call. Snelgrove Veterinary Services in Brampton,                                                                                                         905-846-3316

Spring 2015

charlie 001 There’s a new product available in Canada this year  which the staff at Snelgrove Vet Services is quite  excited about. With the current influx of ticks in the  Brampton and Caledon area, Nexgard has finally  come to the Canadian market. Approved by Health  Canada to kill Blacklegged ticks (deer ticks),  American Dog ticks and the Lone  star tick. It also kills Brown Dog ticks. These are all known carriers of diseases such as, Lyme disease,  Ehrlichia and Anaplasma.  But, not only does  Nexgard kill ticks, it also kills fleas all month-long.

Pretty cool, right?

We thought so. But what’s really cool about Nexgard? For people or pets who don’t like topical flea and tick killers, its an oral beef-flavoured chew. And yes, it’s beef ‘flavoured’, so for those pets that may have a beef allergy, Nexgard is still safe to give. Given monthly it is proven to keep killing both fleas and ticks for the full 30 days.

Nexgard is also safe to use if you have cats in the house and is approved for dogs as young as 8 weeks of age.

The best thing about Nexgard, now we have choices. In a market dominated by topical products, it’s nice to have another option. Ask your vet what flea and tick prevention you should use on your pets this year.

Thanks for reading.