Media Release: National Tick Awareness Month Hits Close to Home by Focusing on Tick Geography

Mar 8, 2021

Ottawa, Ont. – It is now widely acknowledged that rising ambient temperatures have contributed to a general increase in the number, level of activity, and geographical distribution of ticks in North America, as well as to the expansion of blacklegged ticks and Lyme disease into Canada.  

Ticks are now present in more regions of Canada than ever. Surveillance efforts have identified a growing number of regions across the country where blacklegged ticks, which are vectors for Lyme disease, are emerging or established.

The theme of the 2021 National Tick Awareness Month (NTAM) campaign, Could ticks be there? Be tick aware!, drives that point home by raising awareness regarding the established and expanding geographic range of tick species throughout Canada, highlighting the common habitats where ticks can be encountered.

“In a country as large as Canada, there is no ‘one-protocol-fits-all’ when it comes to tick prevention. What’s right for a pet in a tick-endemic part of the country may not be appropriate in a lower-risk region,” says Dr. Enid Stiles, CVMA President. “With constant changes in tick geography, and the fact that pets are accompanying their owners on outings and trips now more than ever, it’s a bit like chasing a moving target — and in this particular case, ignorance is risk.

Thankfully, ongoing tick surveillance efforts provide us with timely information on shifts in tick populations and ranges. As veterinarians, we are in a unique position to educate pet owners about evolving tick risks, both close to home and in areas they may be planning to visit, so we can assist them in developing strategies to help protect their pets, themselves and their families.”

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About the CVMA 
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is the national and international voice for Canada’s 13,000 veterinarians, providing leadership and advocacy for veterinary medicine. Visit to learn more about the CVMA.  

About Merck Animal Health 
Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. For more information, visit us online at 

Lori Ahronson
Manager, Communications and Public Relations
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association