Ticks are back. Up until two weeks ago when I combed our young Samoyed dog Ibyuk, I found seeds and burrs but then I started finding ticks. I went to the vet and got medication. Now when I comb her, I find the ticks, up to five at a time, are dead. They are deer ticks with the black circle on their backs. Looking back I see I wrote a blog on October 20, 2016, saying we were finding ticks on our other Samoyed Mila. Samoyeds have long fine white hair which makes them excellent indicators as you can see easily spot ticks. Last March, we saw them as well. Adult deer ticks show peaks in the spring and in late September and October unlike dog tick which peak in spring and summer. Deer ticks are the ones to worry about as they carry Lyme disease and other diseases.
Fortunately, Lyme Disease is not severe in dogs. A friend’s border collie had lameness which shifted from one leg to another. He tested positive for Lyme disease but has completely recovered after a course of antibiotics.
Lyme disease is much more severe in humans. It is essential to minimize the risk by avoiding getting bitten. Wrap up well, and stay on a path away from long grass. Remember to check your whole body carefully after being out for a walk. If you find tick it is vital to remove it quickly, and if it has been attached to you for more than 24 hours you should go to your doctor to see if you need a course of antibiotics, as you may be infected with the bacteria causing Lyme disease.
Dr. Andrew Peregrine veterinarian for the University of Guelph gives an excellent update on “Ticks and Lyme disease in Canada” discussing the implication for both dogs and people.