What are parasites?
Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and lice are nasty creatures that prey upon your pet. They can survive by biting and feeding on your pet’s blood. Aside from being disgusting, they cause irritation, infection and disease and there is no place for them in your home with your family.
Parasites are everywhere. Did you know …
- In one month, 10 fleas can reproduce into 250,000 1
- There are 80 species of hard ticks in North America
- Adult ticks can feed on pets for 5 – 12 days 2
Introduction to fleas
Fleas are horrible pests that feed on the blood of cats, dogs, humans and wildlife. Once on your pet, fleas can bite up to every 5 minutes leaving your cat or dog itchy, sore and uncomfortable.
Fleas lay up to 40 eggs per day that drop off into the home creating an infestation. Flea larvae hatch from the flea eggs and crawl into carpets, floors and sofas where they become cocoons that can lie dormant for up to a year. Flea cocoons hatch into new fleas that will jump onto pets causing more itchy bites.
How to tell if your pet has fleas or has brought fleas into your home
You might not know that your pet has a flea problem until it gets severe. Evidence of a flea infestation includes seeing adult fleas on your pets, finding flea dirt (droppings) on pets or bedding, and seeing your pet or your family scratching from itchy flea bites.
What do I do if my pet has fleas?
- Your veterinarian can help! Don’t let your pet suffer from nasty flea bites. You need an effective product that works fast to stop fleas biting and that kills them before they can lay eggs. Ask your veterinarian for a product that works on the outside of your pet to kill fleas through contact and stops eggs and immature fleas (larvae) from developing.
- Washing pet beds and vacuuming carpets can help reduce the infestation, but only if coupled with an effective product that kills fleas on your pet now, as well as kills the fleas developing in your home.
Introduction to ticks
What is a tick?
Ticks are eight-legged parasites that have highly developed mouthparts to pierce through the skin of your pet and feed on their blood.
Can ticks harm my pet?
Ticks become engorged as they feed on a pet’s blood over several days. However, some ticks can transmit disease within just a few hours of feeding. Reduce tick biting by asking your vet for protection that works through contact, no biting required.
What diseases can ticks pass to my dog?
The most common tick-borne diseases include Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
One of the tick-borne diseases most frequently in the news is Lyme disease. This is a bacterial infection transmitted from an infected deer (blacklegged) tick that has attached to a dog (or person) and has had time to start feeding. Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs may include fever, lethargy and painful joints.
Help protect your pet by reducing tick bites. Ask your vet for a product that works on ticks through contact — not one that can only work after ticks bite and feed on your pet. No Bite Is Right®!
What do I do if my pet is bitten by a tick?
Use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Pull gently and firmly straight upwards to remove the tick. Do not handle the tick with bare hands.
Save the tick in a sealed container for your veterinarian to identify.
Speak to your veterinarian about the health risks from ticks in your area and what you can do to prevent your pet from being bitten again.
How do ticks get on my pet?
Ticks can’t jump or fly, instead they wait in grass, leaf litter or shrubs where they climb on dogs as they walk past. Ticks seek shelter when the temperature is too cold (less than 4°C). However, they contain an anti-freeze that protects them from severe temperatures. Once conditions are right, they will be laying in wait, hungry to feed on your pet!
Are ticks increasing in my area?
Due to changes in climate and the spread of tick hosts and carriers (mice, raccoons, deer and migratory birds), ticks are definitely spreading in Canada and are increasing in numbers.
1Fourie JJ, et al. (2013). Transmission of Ehrlichia canis by Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks feeding on dogs and on artificial membranes. Vet Parasitol. 197(3-4):595-603.
Introduction to mosquitoes
Can mosquitoes harm my pet?
Female mosquitoes are annoying parasites that will feed on pets — just as they do on people — causing itchy, painful bites! Mosquitoes can make the summer months miserable for your family and pets unless they are well protected. Dogs also face an additional danger since some mosquitoes can transmit heartworm, a potentially deadly parasite that exists in some areas of Canada.
How do I protect my dog from mosquitoes?
Just as families protect themselves with mosquito products, dogs deserve protection, too. Ask your veterinarian for a product that kills mosquitoes through contact. If you are in a heartworm endemic area, your pet will require a heartworm preventive as well since it only takes one bite from one mosquito to transmit heartworms.
Introduction to lice
What are lice?
Lice are highly contagious parasites that are particularly common on dogs during the cooler months in Canada. Dogs are at risk from lice when they come into direct contact with an infected animal or hair from an infected animal. This can happen in dog parks, grooming and boarding facilities, doggie daycare or even a casual interaction on the street.
Can dog lice affect my family, too?
Fortunately dog lice are fussy and only live and feed on dogs. There is no risk to the rest of the family from dog lice.
How can I tell if my dog has lice?
Dogs infested with lice may be itchy or restless, and may have a rough or matted coat. Severe infestations can lead to intense scratching and hair loss from self-trauma. The nits (eggs) may be visible in the hair coat.
What should I do if I think my dog has lice?
Your veterinarian can recommend an approved veterinary product that will kill lice through contact. All dogs in the home should be treated together. Avoid using flea and tick shampoos, unless directed by your veterinarian, since these may affect the efficacy of veterinary treatments. Dogs undergoing treatment for lice should avoid contact with untreated pets until their treatment is complete since lice are highly contagious to other dogs.