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Dog Parasites

We want to share some great information about parasite control for your dog!

Parasites, such as fleas, ticks and worms are something we need to protect our beloved four-legged creatures from all year long. These parasites don’t care what size your dog is, what type of coat they have, or their age; all they care about is their next meal.

Although fleas are more common in the warmer months, they can be active all year long if they find a home that is warm and cozy. You might ask, “How did my dog get fleas?” Fleas can be contracted from dog to dog contact, or any other animal including rodents or wildlife that your dog has had contact with. These persistent fleas can hitchhike a ride into your home on people too. If you notice fleas on your dog, yourself, or in your home, it is important to treat all animals in your home (even cats) for a consecutive three months. We want to ensure that your pets are protected for the entire lifecycle of a flea.

Ticks may not be an issue every day of the year, but they are an issue every month of the year. Ticks are active and will attach to your dog at 4 degrees Celsius and above. Nova Scotia is a very high risk for Lyme disease, which is spread through the Black-Legged Deer Tick (the most common tick found). The Lyme disease prevalence map for Nova Scotia can be found at petsandparasites.org. Other ticks that are common in our area are the Brown Dog Tick and the American Dog Tick. These ticks can bring diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and more. Year-long tick prevention is key in the prevention of unwanted tick-transmitted diseases.

Worms are another parasite that many dog owners have questions about. Worms typically live inside your dog’s gastrointestinal system, but some worms can live in other places like the body’s muscle layer, liver and lungs. Monthly deworming is needed to prevent unwanted worms. The most common intestinal worms are roundworm, hookworm and whipworm. We also see tapeworm which your dog can get from eating mice, birds or if they eat live fleas! Roundworm is a common worm that can be transmitted from the mother dog through their milk during nursing. It is why it is essential to deworm your new puppy regularly when they first come into your home. It is crucial to deworm your dog monthly if they are around children or immunocompromised people as most intestinal worms are zoonotic, which means humans can get contract these worms. Deworming also prevents unwanted eggs in your dog’s poop from being shed into the environment and infecting other animals.

At Fairview Animal Hospital, we have a large variety of flea and tick prevention and deworming. These methods range from monthly to every 12 weeks, chewable tablets to topical ointment. Please ask our knowledgeable staff about flea and tick prevention today!

Written by: Victoria Jones, RVT

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