Pets will likely encounter two different kinds of parasites in their lifetime: internal parasites like heartworms and intestinal worms and external parasites like ticks and fleas. You’ll find more information below. Both types of parasites pose a great risk to pets that aren’t properly protected. Speak to your veterinarian to find out more.
I can’t tell if my pet has fleas. How can I know for sure?
There is a simple way to see if your pet has fleas: Check your pet’s fur for flea excrement, also called flea dirt, which looks like little black, comma-shaped specks. To do this, place a white sheet of paper under your pet and stroke their fur in all directions so that any hidden specks will fall onto the paper. Place a bit of water on the black specks. If they turn dark red or brown, it’s flea dirt (dried blood).
If my pet has fleas or ticks, will they necessarily scratch?
Contrary to popular belief, flea and tick bites don’t always lead to irritation or cause an animal to react. Each animal will respond differently. Sometimes bites do lead to mild irritation, redness, severe itching, hair loss, and even allergic reaction (to saliva).
Why are fleas so hard to get rid of?
Fleas can spread easily, since they can jump from one animal to another. Their life cycle also allows them to live for a long time. Getting rid of fleas requires the help of a veterinarian.
What kinds of problems or illnesses can tick bites cause?
Ticks can transmit numerous illnesses, the most well-known of which is Lyme disease. In rare cases, a toxin found in tick saliva can cause paralysis in the infected animal.
Ticks that carry the bacteria for Lyme disease are unfortunately becoming increasingly common in southern Québec due to climate change. Be on the lookout once the outdoor temperature rises above 4°C. Humans can also become infected with Lyme disease, which initially causes a rash with a “bullseye” appearance.
What do I do if I find a tick on my dog or cat?
Contact us if you notice a tick on your pet and we will direct you on how to safely remove it.