Fleas, ticks, and other pests spread diseases and can cause pets discomfort. Protecting your pet from these dangerous and unpleasant parasites is one of your responsibilities as a pet owner and our team is here to help you every step of the way. At Jane Animal Hospital, we use a variety of methods to protect our patients from the most prevalent parasites in our region.
How can I protect my pet from pests and parasites?
The most effective and easiest thing to do is to get them on a year-round medication that protects against parasites. Remember, these creatures are around even in the winter months. We provide a variety of preventatives to help your pet avoid infestation. There are many types of medications to choose from. For example, there is a chewable tablet that can prevent fleas and ticks for up to three months with each dose. There are also topical options available. In addition to prescription meds, we can help you learn the best ways to avoid flea and tick infestation, and what to look for when examining your pet.
What are the most common types of parasites in Toronto?
Our region 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 too.
- American Dog tick: Most active from April to August or September. It is found along trails/paths and spreads Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia.
- Brown Dog tick: 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: They 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 onto 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 patients get checked for ticks every day. Petting your furry companion and inspecting their skin can help you find a tick on your pet's body.