Fleas, Ticks and Heartworm

Fleas, Ticks and Heartworm

Fleas, Ticks and Heartworm

Protecting your pets from warm weather parasites isn’t just about protecting your pets. It’s also about protecting your home and family! Fleas, Ticks and Heartworm are some of the common parasites affecting this area.

Treatment Once Monthly From Spring To Fall

All dogs should be heartworm tested before starting preventive medication. A negative result means you can safely start your pet’s oral or topical medication! Fleas and ticks are out during the spring, summer & fall months, so make sure all pets in the house have preventative protection.   Book your appointment to discuss your pets risk assessment for summer parasites.   We will help you decide on blood screening and provide options for prevention medication based on your pets lifestyle and potential risks. And remember, any dog who goes outside can bring fleas inside and pass them on to an indoor cat.   Be sure to use flea prevention on your indoor cats to protect your house from becoming infested.   Ticks tend to have 2 blooms – once in the early spring and again in the late fall.  Ticks can infect both dogs and people with Lyme disease ( as well as other tick borne diseases like Erlichia and Anaplasma). We recommend prevention medication like Revolution to kill fleas, ticks and prevent heartworm transmission.   Is is a medication (Selamectin) that is applied topically and absorbed into the bloodstream.    Revolution is safe and proven to kill ticks within 48 hours, and kill fleas in as little as 2 hours.  For dogs with increased exposure to tick areas –  please get an early start by applying the first dose this spring  and a second dose 2 weeks later…. then continue once monthly during the summer months right through till the fall.      Dogs who will be traveling to areas of greater risk can be vaccinated for Lyme disease.

Checking for ticks

Check your dog for ticks every day, especially during tick season: spring, summer and fall, or year-round in warmer climates. Brush your fingers through their fur applying enough pressure to feel any small bumps. Be sure to check between your dog’s toes, behind ears, under armpits and around the tail and head, too. If you do feel a bump, pull the fur apart to see what’s there. A tick that has embedded itself in your dog will vary in size, something from the size of a pinhead to a grape depending on how long its been attached. Ticks are usually black or dark brown in color but will turn a grayish-white after feeding in what’s referred to as an engorged state.

Removing ticks

Removing embedded ticks is a delicate operation because it’s easy for a piece of the tick to break off and remain in your dog’s skin if done improperly. Follow the removal steps below or consider bringing your dog to see us so we can safely perform the task and, possibly, show you how it’s done. Infection can occur after 24 hours, so if you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away.

  1. Grasp the tick very close to the skin with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers.
  2. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Avoid crushing the tick to prevent infection.   It is important to try to remove the ticks head.  If you would like us to do it, please book an appointment.
  3. After removal, clean your dog’s skin with soap and warm water and dispose of the tick.  Ticks can be brought into the clinic and  sent away for evaluation to see if they were carrying Lyme disease if you choose.

Using these steps can help ensure the successful removal of ticks. Never use petroleum jelly, a hot match, or other products to remove a tick. Doing so can  cause harm your dog and may cause an embedded tick to release more disease-carrying saliva. Also, if you do find ticks on your dog, your entire family could be at risk of exposure. You should take measures to keep everyone in your home safe.