Fleas and ticks spread diseases and cause pets discomfort. As a pet owner in Toronto, it's important to protect your pet from these dangerous and unpleasant parasites. At Jane Animal Hospital, we use a variety of methods to protect our pet patients and help them avoid ticks in the area.
About Fleas and Ticks
Fleas are tiny wingless insects that drink blood from their hosts, causing the skin to become itchy and irritated. Fleas usually infest their hosts in groups. Fleas are carriers of tape worm. Their saliva also causes an allergic reaction in the skin of pets.
Ticks also suck blood from their hosts. They wait in tall grass for their hosts to pass by. When they have a chance, ticks grab hold of a host animal and crawl up the skin to a part of the body that is difficult to reach (often near the head).
Toronto is home to a variety of different types of ticks, including the Lone Star Tick, American Dog Tick, Brown Dog Tick and Western Black Legged Tick. Adult ticks in the area become active after the first frost, and stay active throughout the winter if the weather is warm enough. As long as the ground is not frozen or covered in snow, deer ticks may be active.
• American Dog tick. American Dog Tick is most active from April to August or September, is found along trails and paths, and spreads Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia.
• Brown Dog tick. Brown dog ticks can also carry and spread Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These ticks are active all year round.
• Western Black Legged Tick. This type of tick transmits everything from Lyme disease to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
• Lone Star tick. Lone Star ticks tend to live in wooded areas and transmit a variety of diseases, including Tularemia, Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis and possibly Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Once a tick has latched on to the host, the tick may take up to 24 hours to infect a host with an illness. This is why it's important to ensure that your pet gets checked for ticks every day. Petting your pet and inspecting his or her skin can help you find a tick on your pet's body.
Pet Preventatives Help Pets Stay Healthy
As your pet's veterinarian in Toronto, we provide a variety of flea and tick preventatives to help your pet avoid infestation. BRAVECTO is a chewable tablet that can prevent fleas and ticks for up to three months with each dose. We prefer this medication because it is effective for such a long time, versus many other topical medications and chewable tablets which must be taken on a monthly basis. We also help educate pet owners about the best ways that they can help their pet avoid flea and tick infestation, and what to look for when examining your pet.
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