This is according to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). In honour of National Tick Awareness Month (NTAM), the association, in partnership with Merck Animal Health, is reminding Canadians of the tools available to “outsmart” these parasites.
Launched in 2015, NTAM strives to increase public awareness about ticks, the potential health risks they pose, and measures that are available to help control them.
However, the findings of a recently published CVMA survey (made possible through funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada), reveal a disconnect in awareness and adherence to appropriate tick preventative behaviours for both people and their pets.
“Though we have created many resources throughout the last eight years of the NTAM campaign, the recent survey highlights that gaps remain for owners when it comes to protecting their pets and themselves against ticks,” says CVMA president, Chris Bell, BSc., DVM, MVetSc., DACVS (Large Animal). “This year’s campaign focuses on building more awareness about the available tools and closing the gaps.”
To help extend tick education and risk communication beyond clinical visits, veterinary teams can leverage available resources to engage with pet owners through multiple channels, CVMA says. These include:
- in-clinic displays;
- social media posts;
- reminder communications; and
- web-based education platforms (such as TickTockCanada.com), which can help inform owners of evolving tick risk in their respective regions throughout the year and help them understand and adhere to tick prevention strategies.
“We are in a unique position in veterinary medicine, in that while we are educating owners on the optimal protection for their pets, we also help them apply the knowledge they have acquired to protect themselves,” Dr. Bell says. “We can help our clients outsmart ticks.”
For more tick-related resources, click here.
To access CVMA’s report, click here.