Ticks still a threat to pets


Two-year-old blue heeler

Two-year-old blue heeler

Local resident Wanda Nystoruk takes every opportunity to go for hikes on the trails and open areas around Barriere. her dogs 10-year-old Baloo, and two-year-old Mazie also enjoy the hikes immensely.

During the past few weeks, Wanda says she was no longer concerned about the dogs picking up wood tickson their excursions, because she thought that the tick season was past; that’s until old Baloo became very ill.

Wanda tells that one Sunday morning she noticed Baloo  being “a bit off balance, by noon he could only sit, and by that evening he could not get up at all”.

She quickly made a veterinary appointment, and when Wanda described the dog’s symptoms, the vet suggested the dog may have a tick on him.  Upon checking Baloo over, it was discovered this was the case, and off they went to the vet clinic.

The vet removed the grey, oblong, pumpkin seed sized tick from behind the dog’s ear; and commented he thought it had been there for 36 to 48 hours.

Wanda says the vet explained that wood ticks, once attached to their host, give off a neurotoxin that paralyses an animal (often dogs), from the back legs forward. If not removed in time, this can often be fatal. He also suggested taking Baloo home, where, with rest and care he would likely fully recover within a few days.

After three days the old boy is doing quite well.  Of course he is constantly tended to by his faithful canine companion, Mazie.  She does not leave his side, and now accompanies him down the stairs as well.  Apparently this little blue heeler has taken it upon herself to make sure her buddy gets the best of care.

Wanda noted the staff at the Vet Clinic said they have had several calls from Barriere regarding pet owner’s encountering wood tick problems.

The clinic also sent Baloo’s removed tick home in a vial to show to anyone wondering what a tick looks like; just in case another pet owner has to deal with one.

Due to the cooler weather this year, the tick season has lasted longer than usual. It is a good idea to check your dog when coming home from a walk. The most likely locations for the tick to attach itself on a dog are under the legs, behind the ears and around the neck, and the belly area.

The Nystoruks say they are happy to see their elderly companion is recovering and will be able to play again with his friend Mazie.  In the meantime,  Mazie continues to stick close to him, and provide the best of care and companionship.