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  • Writer's pictureKatie Clow

The 2019 tick season has begun! Check out what’s new this year for Pets and Ticks...

With the warmer weather upon us (or at least less frigid!), ticks have started to wake up from their long winter slumber. We’ve been diligently working over the last few months to get a few new initiatives up and running just in time for the 2019 tick season.

In February, we announced that we were recruiting veterinary clinics to enrol in a new research study called the Canadian Pet Tick Survey (CPTS). This study, which is led by Drs. Clow and Weese at the Ontario Veterinary College in collaboration Dr. Evason at the Atlantic Veterinary College and funded by Pet Trust, is designed to collect ticks from companion animals in Canada for an entire year. Testing for tick-borne pathogens will be completed on all ticks submitted. We were *thrilled* with the response from Canadian veterinary clinics and have exceeded the enrolment goal of 90 veterinary clinics covering all provinces! Enrolment has now closed, and tick collection has begun. For study updates, please visit the Canadian Pet Tick Survey page.

As for the Pet Tick Tracker, we will continue to run the Pet Tick Tracker and encourage submissions from veterinarians and owners not involved in the CPTS. As of April 15th, you will notice a few changes to the Pet Tick Tracker as we have begun collaborating with eTick.

eTick is a web-based platform launched by researchers at Bishop’s University in Quebec where people can submit a photo of a tick found on themselves, their pets or in the environment. The tick is then identified by an expert and a report is sent back to the submitter. Previously, this program was only available in Quebec and has now expanded to Ontario and New Brunswick.

What does this mean for the Pet Tick Tracker? Nothing but good things. We will continue to run the Pet Tick Tracker. Pets and Ticks is focused on providing up-to-date evidence-based information on ticks and tick-borne diseases of pets across Canada, and this includes running the Pet Tick Tracker. However, we have the opportunity to enhance surveillance for ticks of animal and human health importance by collaborating with eTick and compiling data from multiple sources to get more information on tick distribution.

  • If you find on tick on yourself, you will find a button on the Pet Tick Tracker page that will link you to eTick.

  • When you submit a photo of a tick from an animal through the Pet Tick Tracker, you will be asked if this photo can be shared with eTick to add to their maps. (To avoid duplication, please only submit to one platform and we will take care of the rest!)

  • On the Pet Tick Tracker maps, you will see submissions from both the Pet Tick Tracker and eTick submissions from animals.

Win – win! Public health and animal health researchers working together to learn more about shared disease risks.

And with a new tick season upon us, suggestions for new content are always welcome. Please let us know here.

Thanks for reading!


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