Veterinarians across the country have been finding ticks on dogs for a number of years. Some of them are carriers of Lyme disease.
Even though very few people have developed the disease in eastern Quebec at this time, pet owners must be cautious about their own health and that of their animals.
To spot the ticks on the animal, one must look at his skin. The insect resembles a spider. Most often, there will be a bump under the skin and the tip of the tick will come out, with visible legs.
One must be very careful, because it is not easy to spot a tick that measures only a few millimeters through the hairs of the animal.
Most often, pet owners realize this because their beast has developed a rather large bump, which means that the tick has been installed for some time now.
n general, the tick can remain on the animal for up to two weeks, after which it falls off itself. Meanwhile, she will feed on the animal’s blood and will be ready to lay her eggs.
When an animal is detected by a tick, it must be removed. Veterinary clinics sell tools, hooks, with which you can remove the tick at home.
Marie-Nöelle Morin, veterinary surgeon at the Manicouagan Veterinary Hospital, recommends bringing the insect to a specialist for analysis. However, she stresses that even if the tick carries the disease, the stung animal will not necessarily develop the disease.
Dogs are much more likely to develop it than cats
According to veterinarian Andréa Paquin of the Littoral Veterinary Clinic in Rimouski, pet owners should opt for antiparasitic treatment to avoid infection. His colleague André Banville of the veterinary clinic of Gaspé agrees.
he period of activity of the tick seems to also extend, as the territory on which it is found. Last year, ticks bearing the disease were found until December in dogs in Baie-Comeau and Rimouski.
Humans and Lyme Disease
Humans can also be infected with Lyme disease by being bitten by an infected tick. The spokespersons of the Integrated Centers of Health and Social Services of Eastern Quebec say that no case was detected in the region this year.
n the last few years, there has been only one case on the North Shore. The person would have been stung by a tick carried by a migratory bird.
There was only one case in the Gaspé region and six in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region.
Most of these people were reportedly infected outside the region.