Have you wondered what might be in that tick you pulled off your leg or off your dog? Sometimes the least expensive approach to determining disease exposure is testing the tick you carefully removed and saved, just in case. We receive requests for tick testing services regularly. While we don’t do tick testing at Galaxy, there a few labs that do tick testing around the country:
Bay Area Lyme Foundation offers FREE tick testing through a citizen science research project launched in partnership with the Nieto Lab at Northern Arizona University. Testing does not include Bartonella spp at this time.
URI Tick Encounter Resource Center offers tick identification services only, but refers tick testing to UMass Amherst’s Tick Report Service.
Tick Chek Lab offers a fee-for service tick testing, including Bartonella henselae.
Remember that even if the tick is positive it does not mean that transmission occurred following attachment. Also, keep in mind that no lab test is perfect, so there is always a risk of false negatives with even the best DNA test methods.
Prevention is key to keep your family and your pet protected from tick and flea-borne diseases. We recommend that you protect your animals with flea-and tick-borne preventative treatments. You may also consider treating your yard as appropriate. Covering up for outdoor activities–wearing a hat, tucking pants into socks and shirts into pants–and wearing clothes pretreated with Permethrin can offer more thorough protection than simple use of insect repellant.
Find Information on Local Disease Prevalence
The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) interactive maps document canine disease prevalence across US counties. Dogs are screened annually by veterinarians for common tick-borne diseases and heart worm infection. Dogs are at higher risk of tick and flea-borne diseases than people, but we share similar the risk of exposure so these maps may be useful for determining possible disease exposure in your local area.