Spring has sprung, but experts are warning there can be a downside to the good weather – the growing number of ticks.
At Hudson’s Animal Hospital, they’ve recently noticed an increase of Lyme disease cases in dogs.
Dr. Manon Flynn told Global News they have been testing dogs for the disease for the last eight years.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to animals or humans through infected ticks.
She said every year, they see about four or five cases, but this time around, three dogs have already tested positive.
“Here, we’re in the country and there are lots of risk with shrubs, bushes, migrating birds also bring in ticks,” said Flynn.
“So, we’re seeing more and more every year. It’s exponential.”
Dog owner Rob Eccles said he’s worried about the spike in the disease.
If more dogs are being infected, that means humans could also catch the bacteria.
Quebec public health officials released data on the presence of ticks in 2015, finding that 160 human cases of Lyme were reported in the province, compared to only 32 cases in 2011.
It encourages the public to monitor the tick population by submitting photos of ticks they encounter so they can be identified by a professional.
Flynn warns that Lyme disease in dogs can be tough to notice, but unlike for humans, there is a exam vets can perform to know if the animal has been infected.
“We do have a good test, at least for animals, it’s pretty accurate,” said Flynn.
“If there’s an exposure or if there’s a clinical sign, we do the test and it’s a yes or a no. I don’t think we’re that lucky on the human side.”
The hospital is advising dog owners to check their dog for ticks daily, and to remove it immediately if one is found.