Fleas and ticks are the most common external parasites in our region and are active as long as the weather remains at 0 degrees Celsius or higher. Parasite prevention is highly recommended as fleas and ticks have the potential to pass diseases and other parasites to your dog, such as Lyme disease and tapeworms, while also being irritating for your pet.
How can I tell if my dog has fleas or ticks?
A dog with a flea infestation will generally be itchy, and you may notice a reddish-brown “dandruff”: this is known as flea dirt and is the digested blood excreted by fleas. Ticks are a little trickier because they are often noticed after they’ve been feeding for a few hours and are engorged. Before feeding, ticks are about the size of a sesame seed.
How can I prevent fleas and ticks on my dog?
There are many prescription flea and tick preventatives available. Our staff would be happy to go over the options carried by our clinic and determine which ones work best for you and your dog.
What are the treatment options for dogs who have ticks?
If you find an engorged tick on your dog, removal of the tick is recommended, either manually or by giving an antiparasitic medication. However, the removal of the tick needs to be done in a way that no mouth parts are left behind. Tick diseases are spread through their saliva and continue to infect your dog even if the body is removed. We recommend the use of a tick twister, a little specialized tool designed to grasp the tick around the head and remove it in a twisting motion, which removes the tick in one piece. You can also book an appointment with our technicians to remove the tick. A blood test is also recommended 8 weeks after the tick is removed to screen your dog against Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.