North

Tick discovered in Yellowknife, being tested for Lyme disease

It appears ticks have made their way to Yellowknife — one of the blood-thirsty bugs was plucked off a dog over the weekend.

Ticks becoming more resilient to colder temperatures, says Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation

A tick was found on a dog in Yellowknife over the weekend. A local veterinarian has sent it to be tested for Lyme disease. (Mickey Marshall/Facebook)

It appears ticks have made their way to Yellowknife — one of the blood-thirsty bugs was plucked off a dog over the weekend.

The number of ticks has been on the rise across North America this year. The black-legged tick or ''deer tick'' can carry the Lyme disease bacteria.

A veterinarian in Yellowknife is sending the tick south to be tested for Lyme disease.

Jim Wilson, president of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, said he isn't surprised a tick made its way to Yellowknife.

He said they're becoming more resilient to colder temperatures and he expects to see more of them up north.

"Ticks have a very robust mode of transportation," he said.

"They use our migratory birds. So if you have robins or other songbirds that migrate to your region then you are at risk of having lyme disease-carrying ticks."

Wilson said when ticks arrive, they often fall off the birds. Then they look for their next meal — on rodents, cats, dogs or people.

"Winter ticks occur occasionally in moose in wooded areas of the Northwest Territories," Judy McLinton, a spokesperson for the N.W.T. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said in an email.

"The number of reported cases have been steadily climbing but do not pose a significant threat to moose populations."

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection. The symptoms are often flu-like, including sore throat, headache, congestion and stiffness. It can also lead to neurological and cardiac problems if untreated.

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