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Glenwood resident preaches tick awareness

Jill Wheaton recently discovered a tick on her family cat. She’s posted the image on Facebook to raise awareness.
Jill Wheaton recently discovered a tick on her family cat. She’s posted the image on Facebook to raise awareness.

GLENWOOD, NL — It was the size of a dime, engorged and, according to Jill Wheaton, it had been feeding off her cat for a few days.

“I knew ticks were in Newfoundland but I never thought I’d find one on my family,” said the Glenwood resident.

Wheaton recently took to Facebook to raise awareness about the ticks after finding one buried in the side of her cat.

“It felt like a little hair mat,” she said. “It was huge.”

Upon further inspection, Wheaton was disgusted to discover the lump was an insect that is becoming all too common in central Newfoundland.

Wheaton called the Gander Veterinary Clinic to deal with the matter but was able to remove the insect herself.

Ultimately, the clinic is willing to assist with tick removal. They also provide a number of products to protect and treat animals.

Dr. Laura Rogers, chief veterinary officer for the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, confirmed that this rabbit, spotted on Random Island, near Clarenville, bears all the signs of a tick infestation.

Wheaton said she usually has her pets treated for fleas but didn’t this year due to the cooler weather.

According to Gander Veterinary Clinic’s Facebook page, all ticks that are collected will be sent away to the provincial lab for identification.

The first tick that the clinic reported was on July 10, taken off a dog in Gambo. The animal had not travelled off the island.

Wheaton said her cat is doing well but that it’s important to be on the lookout.

Meanwhile, there have been reports of ticks in areas beyond central Newfoundland.

Last week a resident of Random Island, near Clarenville, photographed a wild rabbit that looked to have lesions on its head.

The photographs they provided to The Packet were sent along to the province’s chief veterinary officer, Dr. Laura Rogers, who confirmed the animal showed signs of a tick infestation.

What to do if you find a tick

Dr. Rogers, who works with the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, said ticks have always been present in the province.

 “Residents who find a tick on their animals have the option of going to their local veterinary clinic,” wrote Rogers via email. “If a person finds a tick on themselves they should see their physician.”

Rogers recommends that people wear clothing that covers their bodies while out in the woods. For animals, there are products that can be taken orally or applied directly to their skin.

Twitter: @joshrjhealey

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