Friday 8 August 2014

Tick season requires vigilance - but I think we're done!

They are wee
I think tick season is over this year. They've stopped appearing on cats.

Yes, the feds, with a bill presented by Green Leader Elizabeth May, has passed. Good for her. An amazing achievement for her, as a private member. She must have done extensive lobbying. I must admit that several years ago, I had US-based lobbyists and advocates sending me information about Lyme Disease. It was relatively rare in Canada at that point. In addition, we do not have to fight medical  insurers to pay for medical care.

Bill C-442, An Act respecting a Federal Framework on Lyme Disease, was introduced by Elizabeth May in 2012. All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo , provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the
tick seeking a blood meal
in order to reproduce

Bill C - |

This enactment requires the Minister of Health to convene a conference with the provincial and territorial ministers responsible for health and with representatives of the medical community and patients’ groups for the purpose of developing a comprehensive federal framework to address the challenges of the recognition and timely diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.
Over the past two years, May has presented many heart-rending stories of people affected by the disease. These include Saltspring Island’s Terri Bibby, who was not properly diagnosed and faced years of medical problems and bills.

Canada now needs to have a strategy for managing Lyme Disease. I have long held the belief that education and awareness is the key. When I went into our rural ER, suffering from poison ivy rash, the nurse diagnosed it, but the doctors did not. This is often the case, methinks!

An engorged tick,
removed from a cat
The fault lies with the medical establishment, which fails to properly diagnose and treat victims. As with many unusual diseases, it is up to the individual to self-advocate. This is hard when you are suffering.

You can read about one person's story here:


The difference between “normal tired” and “too tired to breathe”

That said, prevention is the key. Hubby had an engorged tick on the back of his knee. He removed it properly, since we've both been taking them off of the cats this year and last. They were infrequent in 2012, the year of the drought. Last year we removed over 86 ticks from pets.
Here is this year's stats, so far. They began mid-April, and continue...
Total 39 - way down from 86+ last year

This is an amazing video. This is the proper way to remove a tick.

You MUST remove the proboscis, the mouth part where they suck your blood.

DO NOT pour anything on it, as that will cause it to regurgitate its stomach contents into its victim, which is where the bacterium lives.

University of Manitoba expert, Kateryn Rochon.

Here is more information about the black-legged tick, which carries Lyme Disease.


Nancy J said...

Jennifer, this is a real eye-opener for me, I had not heard of it, and realise how serious it can be. Down here we do not have it, according to a medical report, words copied below. You are vigilant with all your pets, as the data shows, do you need to use tweezers to get it all out of the skin? I hope the tick season has ended as you move into your autumn. Hugs, Jean.

Copy from a medical report on Google.........

As of January 2014, there is no evidence of Lyme disease borne endemically in Australia or New Zealand," says Dr Graves.

Red said...

Education goes a long way. On field trips we had the kids check each other before they got back on the bus. My brother, the nurse, pulled one out of my beard. So watch yourself and watch others

eileeninmd said...

The ticks are horrible, I found one on my neck while I was at work.. Not sure how it got there. Happy weekend!

William Kendall said...

I'll remain dubious of a federal-provincial summit among ministers over this, considering that the PM and his cabinet seem terrified of actually engaging their provincial counterparts in any meeting.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Unfortunately, we are still seeing ticks here. Two of the boys had ticks just last week.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
This is a positive small step forward - any recognition has to be good. I note an earlier comment regarding the state of play Down Under...I am forwarding the link of this post to an interested party in Sydney because of a situation there. The person I know of who has now passed away, only got diagnosis of Lyme Disease at a very late stage (too late) and if I recall, that Dx had to be sourced outside of Australia. Your comment re self-advocacy will ring bells. Thank you for this! YAM xx

Jenn Jilks said...

The tweezers really get it all out, Jean. Otherwise the proboscis stays in. The cats have had them stay in, when I didn't remove it properly, but they were fine as I applied antiseptic.
It's a terrible disease. Prevention is the key. Then, recognition of its symptoms and the right treatment. It can be a long-lasting issue.
I hope you never have it in your part of the world! Hubby has had two bites, me one, but we just remove the little bug right away.