How to keep your pet safe this tick season

Concern over emerging tick borne illnesses in Manitoba

Concern over emerging tick borne illnesses in Manitoba

"If it's a black-legged tick, then it gets sent on further to Winnipeg to the microbiology lab, where it gets tested for Lyme Disease", she said.

Ticks and Lyme disease are only a risk after ticks have been attached for 24-36 hours, so there is a good chance you can avoid infection if you remove the tick as soon as you notice it.

However, the tick carrying SFTS is not found in Kentucky, so physicians and public health officials are less concerned about this condition in the commonwealth.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease include headaches, fever, and fatigue.

"You treat it with the same as for Lyme", Dr. Richard Rusk, medical manager of communicable diseases at Manitoba Public Health, told CTV Manitoba. "You may unknowingly be going in an area that has high rates of Lyme disease and if your pet is unprotected, they stand a very high likelihood of developing lime disease".

So, how do you know if your pet already has Lyme disease? "We mentioned Powassan as well, but the risk on that is substantially lower". While ticks and tick bites are common here, the diseases that ticks carry and transmit are rare - so much so that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend routinely giving preventive antibiotics to people who have had a tick bite and are otherwise well.

"We had (Borrelia miyamotoi) as the new disease for the physicians to be aware of", said Rusk. It is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop this type of rash or develop flu-like symptoms within a month of having a tick bite or being in an area where ticks are present.

If left untreated, the disease can infect the central and peripheral nervous systems, with symptoms becoming debilitating and chronic. Rusk says Borrelia miyamotoi can be detected through a simple blood test, provided the doctor knows to look for it. They are often found in bushy or wooded areas with lots of leaves on the ground or where there are tall grasses. "It's not about removing the body of the tick, it's also about making sure the head of the tick comes out too".

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