May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

by Jennifer Smith May 01, 2019

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, an observance month to spread the word about the dangers of ticks. Tick movement is at its peak in May when the weather is warm and people are spending time outside in the garden; on hiking trails; camping trips; and even at the dog park. Any warm-blooded mammal can get bit by ticks and contract Lyme Disease including wildlife, people, dogs and cats.

Deer and ticks

Deer herds are often to blame for the spread of ticks; and while deer are the number one carriers of ticks in the United States and Canada, they are not the ones who started the movement. The white-footed mouse is the rodent that carries the Lyme Disease bacterium. These type of mice are thought to have passed on ticks to deer and other migratory animals such as birds. This is how it all began. 

While not all ticks carry Lyme Disease, there are other tick-borne illnesses to watch out for in both humans and pets including: Anaplasmosis; Babesiosis; Powassan Disease; Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever; and even a red meat allergy. 

Ticks in Canada

There are over 40 species of ticks in Canada. Ticks are found in almost all Canadian Providences; but are most commonly located in the following regions:

1) Southern British Columbia
2) Southeastern and South-central Manitoba
3) Southern Quebec
4) Southern, Eastern and Western Ontario
5) Parts of Nova Scotia
6) Southern New Brunswick and Grand Manan Island

There is no way of knowing whether or not a tick is infected with a tick disease; and it is best to consult medical attention after a tick is removed from the skin. As noted previously in this blog, do not use hands, nail polish remover or a fire starter to remove the embedded tick. Rather, use a tick remover tool that is clean and easy to manage.

Treatment for Lyme

There is not a treatment for Lyme; but there are antibiotics that can be given to people and pets.

Get involved this 2019 Lyme Disease Month

Spread the word this month about tick disease prevention and get involved with the following events:

  • Walk/run a Lyme Disease 5K
  • Register for a Lyme Disease information meeting
  • Research Lyme Disease and educate others
  • Share your Lyme Disease story with others

Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith