Toronto

Pet owners warned to beware amid rising cases of deer ticks

Earlier this week Toronto public health issued a warning for residents to be aware of ticks. Today veterinarians are warning pet owners to be aware of ticks as well.

Toronto veterinarian Dr. Bikram Dayed says while tick cases are increasing, so too is pet-owner awareness

Vets are warning pet owners to be aware of blacklegged ticks in Toronto. (CDC)

After a warning by Toronto Public Health for residents to be aware of ticks and the threat they pose to people and pets, one veterinarian says are on the rise in some of the city's green spaces. 

Dr. Bikram Dayed, owner of the Dundas Dovercourt Veterinary hospital says he's seen an increase in the number of cases involving deer ticks, which carry the disease, in High Park and Trinity Bellwoods.

And he's also seen an increase in pet owners who are taking notice. 

"The people are very serious about it these days. Most of my clients are aware of it — we send letters to them as well," said Dr. Dayed.

Nicole Araujo, a pet owner who spends time at local parks like Trinity Bellwoods with Bruce her Bernese Mountain Dog says she's become very careful with ticks. 

Nicole Araujo with Bruce her Bernese Mountain dog in Trinity Bellwoods Park.

One year ago Aruajo's dog was bitten by a tick and suffered from Lyme disease.

"We're pretty good with him like checking him with a comb and going through his fur if we're out in nature or in a park," she said.

While the rise in tick cases is cause for concern, Dr. Dayed says there are preventative measures pet owners can take. 

As the weather warms up and owners take their furry friends outdoors he recommends combing pets every day and feeling through their fur for ticks. 

If that doesn't work, Dr. Dayed says using a topical cream for ticks from a veterinarian should keep the critters off of pets. 

To get more information on ticks, Toronto Public Health has a website residents can visit to learn tips and at-risk locations to avoid. 

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