Warm weather brings long walks along the Toronto Beaches, games of fetch, and hiking through Glen Steward Park. Unfortunately, it also brings along the risk of fleas, ticks and parasites to your dog and cat.
Know how to prevent fleas and ticks before they become a medical issue. Our team at Boardwalk Animal Hospital is always happy to take any of your questions on flea and tick prevention. Speak with a veterinarian today if you believe your dog or cat has fleas or ticks.
The Risk of Fleas to Your Pets
Fleas are a tiny insect related to ants and beetles and feed on blood. Although common in dogs and cats, fleas can also be transferred to humans and live in carpets, sofas and other fabrics around your home. Their bites can lead to irritation and skin allergies.
Many dogs suffer from Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), which is an allergy to flea saliva. This allergy is what causes your pup to scratch uncontrollably. Along with an irritating itch, fleas can also transmit tapeworms and cause severe cases of anemia.
Cat Scratch disease is also among the list of flea-related risks. Common in cats, this disease is also known to transfer to dogs and humans, causing severe pain, numbness, rashes and red stretch marks.
Preventing and Treating Fleas
Fleas love to live where it’s moist, warm and shady. Avoid having your dog or cat spend prolonged amounts of time in environments that may have fleas. Rake away any debris such as leaves, straw and grass clippings in your yard to eliminate flea habitats. Keeping a clean home that is well-vacuumed will also help keep fleas at bay.
Please speak with a trained veterinarian or vet assistant to discuss prevention options. Dogs that suffer FAD should seek medical attention as prescription ointment may be applied to ease the scratching and bleeding.
The Risk of Ticks to Your Pets
Ticks feed on many different animals including humans, squirrels, mice, cats and dogs. They feed for long periods of time, which makes them very good at passing on diseases that may be life-threatening.
Preventing and Treating Ticks
If you plan on taking your pet to a forested area or another high-risk area, please check for ticks as soon as you get home. Be sure to check hard-to-spot areas like between their toes, in their earflaps and around their tail. The sooner the tick is removed, the better the chance your pet has of not contracting a life-threatening disease.
Many tick-removal tools are available for you to safely remove ticks from your pet. In the chance you do find and safely remove a tick, please call Boardwalk Animal Hospital to discuss the possibility of having your pet tested for disease.
As with any parasite, ticks are attracted to weak animals. The best defense for your dog and cat is to keep them healthy and active to ward off ticks. Bring your pet in for annual check-ups to ensure their immune system and vitality is strong.