Fleas, Ticks, and Worms, Oh My!
We love our pets but we don’t love the little critters that might be sharing them. Not only are they unappealing but they can also cause health problems both for our pets and for us so it’s important to keep our pets free from parasites.
In outdoor cats we mainly see fleas, ear mites, and tapeworms, although indoor cats can also pick up fleas (and fleas transmit tapeworm!). Check out this great site for more information on cats and fleas.
Because dogs tend to be outside more often and in many different locations – local park, dog park, daycare, hiking trails, etc – they tend to pick up a wider variety of parasites. Fleas are common on dogs, and ticks are becoming ever more common, even in downtown Toronto! Dogs frequently pick up roundworms and giardia here as well. And of course we can’t forget heartworms which your dog can pick up from infected mosquitoes.
As the weather gets warmer parasite numbers start increasing so it’s important to have your dog checked in spring for exposure to heart worms and tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease,and then to put both dogs and cats on preventive medications.
We’ve come a long way from the time that flea baths and dusting powders were the state-of-the-art pest control. There are several safer and more convenient options available now, from drops that go on your pet’s skin to tasty little chews. It’s important to speak to your vet about the best option for your pets.