Pet Needs Plus owner Christine Unger demonstrates how a groomer checks for ticks on her Japanese Chin assistant named Emmi.

Spring heralds tick season in Greater Trail

While tick season generally runs from now until June, early spring tends to be the busiest time for dog groomers

The familiar signs of spring are as pleasing as running out the door without a jacket. But with the season’s delights also comes its pests.

And tick season is upon us, according to Interior Heath (IH).

“Ticks are most often found in tall grass and wooded areas so covering up before you head outdoors and checking for ticks on yourself, your children and your pets after being outdoors are simple things that go a long way to prevent tick bites,” Jennifer Jeyes, communicable disease specialist with IH, was noted in a new release.

The insects cut a hole into a host’s skin before latching on firmly and indulging, satisfying all of their nutritional requirements on a blood diet.

The most common tick species in the region is the wood tick, which doesn’t carry Lyme disease bacteria but does carry other rare diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Some ticks also have toxins that can cause temporary muscle weakness and paralysis if attached for several days but the symptoms fade once the tick is removed.

While tick season generally runs from now until June, early spring tends to be the busiest time for groomers, according to Christine Unger, who’s owned Pet Needs Plus in Trail for 20 years.

The grooming room is full of canines getting their regular treatment, which this time of year includes a thorough check for the blood suckers.

Unger runs her hands through a Japanese Chin named Emmi to demonstrate how staff separate the fur looking for the pests.

“They start off as little brown crab-looking bugs but as they feed they literally turn grey,” she explained.

“It almost looks like the dog has a wart but it’s a wood tick.

“When they engorge with blood the body of the bug can get up to 15 times larger than the head.”

Most pet owners are unaware that their dog or cat has a tick when they are sent into the Glenmerry shop for grooming. Not much gets past staff, who are used to separating every blade of fur when blowdrying the animals.

“It can make the dog very lame, tired and not wanting to do much because of course this little bug is sucking the life out of them,” said Unger. “It never hurts the dog, either, when you remove them; I think it hurts owners more to know they’ve had a wood tick on them.”

Unger uses forceps to remove a tick by carefully pulling the bug out of the skin and then using a hammer to destroy the bug before disposing it into a bag. The pet store also carries tick twisters, she said, or pet owners are recommended to get their animals on some kind of veterinary-approved repellant.

IH suggests wearing gloves and gently removing the tick with needle-nose tweezers. Without squeezing, pull the tick straight out and be careful not to crush the tick as this could cause it to inject its stomach contents into the skin. After removal, clean the area with soap and water.

The tick species that carries Lyme disease (Ixodes pacificus) is more common in the coastal areas of the province, but may also be present in low numbers in the Interior region, according to IH.

In addition to fever, headache, and muscle pain, people infected with Lyme disease will often develop a rash.

“Most tick bites do not result in illness; however, all tick bites should be cleaned, as infection can occur whenever there is a break in the skin,” added Jeyes.

“It is important to watch for signs of tick-transmitted illnesses. Anyone who experiences a bull’s-eye rash or other symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible.”

Just Posted

Victorian-era magnate, con artist had Rossland connections

New book explores fascinating history of Whitaker Wright

Snowed In Comedy Tour returns to B.C.

Show comes to Trail on Jan. 30

Minor hockey roots preserved in Trail mural

The Trail Minor Hockey Association founded Minor Hockey Week in 1957

Tell the Times

Web Poll: Have you been the target of petty theft in Trail?

Nelson and Kaslo both claimed Queen City status

Place Names: Queen City of the Kootenays

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read