2024 National Tick Awareness Month Campaign Demonstrates How Infected Ticks Can Mean More Risk
February 5, 2024
Tick Control Could Be Needed When You Least Expect It!
Since 2016, National Tick Awareness Month (NTAM), led by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) in partnership with Merck Animal Health, has focused on key components of tick awareness to help protect pets and their people. During past campaigns, we’ve shared information on when ticks are active, maps and research showing where ticks are found in Canada, and focused on the important role the veterinary community plays in public health.
This year’s campaign, kicking off on March 1, will show us how ticks infected with certain pathogens may be FITTER, BETTER, FASTER and STRONGER than we previously believed!
“Recent research has shown that ticks infected with tick-borne pathogens like Borrelia burgdoferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum may actually be more resilient, especially in our colder Canadian climate. These ‘fitter, better, faster, stronger’ ticks can increase the risk for people and pets across our country, especially at times of the year when ticks might not be top of mind,” says Dr. Trevor Lawson, CVMA President. “It is our responsibility and privilege as veterinary professionals to spread this knowledge and help our clients protect their family members, including the furry ones, for the entire tick risk period, which in some cases is all year round.”
The new in-clinic NTAM poster showing pet owners how ticks infected with pathogens may pose more risk than uninfected ticks will be mailed to all clinics across Canada, and we will provide social media posts intended to amplify this year’s key messages along with access to valuable tools and resources for veterinary teams and pet owners. Tools from this year’s campaign, and previous campaigns, are available on TickTalkCanada.com.
“Armed with this valuable information, we can protect our pets, and ourselves, from ticks and the diseases they may carry,” adds Dr. Lawson.
NTAM 2024 Tools and Resources
Kick-Off Webinar: CE-Credit Eligible
Changing tick distribution in Canada: the impact on tick population growth and disease risk
Join us on Friday, March 1, 2024, from 12 – 1 p.m. EST for a webinar with Dr. Heather Coatsworth (PHAC) and Ms. Amal El Nabbout (Dalhousie University).
Dr. Coatsworth will review tick surveillance in Canada, how tick and tick-borne disease distribution is changing, including emerging pathogens, and potential drivers for this change. Ms. El Nabbout, lead author of a recently published Canadian study focused on cold tolerance of Ixodes scapularis infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, will share the importance of being vigilant of tick risk, especially during colder months. There will be a review on how ticks infected with tick-borne pathogens, like Borrelia burgdoferi, may be making ticks “fitter” and how this impacts our risk in Canada.
Please visit the CVMA website at canadianveterinarians.net/veterinary-resources/practice-tools/national-tick-awareness-month for more information on National Tick Awareness Month, to access resources, and register for the live webinar.