Tick cases on the rise in Montreal, veterinarian says

A West Island veterinarian says she's concerned about the number of pets being brought in with ticks so far this year.

Number of recorded tick incidents increasing in recent years

The number of reported tick incidents appear to be growing in the Montreal area. (Victoria Arocho/Associated Press)

A West Island veterinarian says she's concerned about the high number of pets being brought in with ticks so far this year.

Dr. Karen Joy Goldenberg, who works at the Pierrefonds Animal Hospital, said although it's too early in the season for specific statistics, the number of recorded tick incidents has been increasing over the past few years.

So far this season, it is worse than ever before, Goldenberg said.

She said the concern lies not only with the increase in reported incidents, but also with the tick-infected areas growing and migrating closer to the city, making backyards and parks more of a risk for pets.

"The best prevention, in addition to prescription medications, is to avoid wooded or shady areas and tall grass, where ticks tend to thrive," Goldenberg said.

How to check your pets

Goldenberg suggests checking your pets regularly after walks or once they've been outside, especially if you live in the West Island or surrounding off island areas.

She said to check your pet for ticks, you should be very thorough, running your fingers through every inch of their fur. 

"It's important to check again 24 hours after potential tick exposure, because within that time, any ticks too small to notice before will have grown larger, and since it usually takes 48 hours for the potential diseases to spread from tick to pet, this will leave owners with ample tick-removal time," she said.

In the case that you do find a tick on your pet, Goldenberg suggests going to the vet unless you have previous experience in tick removal.  This is because a tick that has been improperly or incompletely removed can result in an infection.


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