Photo by James Gathany Content Providers: CDC/ Michael L. Levin, Ph. D.

Tick that causes meat allergy spotted in Ontario

A tick that causes a meat allergy in humans has made its way to southern Ontario.

The Oakridge Animal Clinic said in a Facebook post in mid-June that it had found a Lone Star tick on a cat. The tick is not native to Canada and is usually found in the southeastern United States and Mexico.

“This tick showed up today. She caused quite a stir,” the clinic said in its post.

The tick has been spotted farther north in recent years, but this was the first one the clinic found. The Lone Star tick’s bite can cause an allergy to a carbohydrate in red meat.

“This shows why tick protection is important for your furry family members,” the clinic said in its post.

The clinic told CTV News that the cat had not been travelling and must have picked up the tick locally.

There is currently no known cure to the allergy caused by the tick’s bite, other than to stop eating red meat. Some of the symptoms include hives and diarrhea.

“It’s a very scary tick,” Dr. Gillian Egli, the owner of Oakridge Animal Clinic, told CTV News London. “It carries diseases that can be transmitted to dogs, but also to humans.”

The range of the tick’s habitat has spread in recent years. Lone Star ticks have been found recently in northern Wisconsin and North Dakota.