West Island news editor, Rhonda Massad, reached out to Dr. Christina Nosotti, veterinarian and owner of Clinique Vétèrinaire Mobile Plus to discuss how to protect our fur babies from ticks, fleas and mosquitoes.
Fleas are a common parasite that bite, transmit disease, and cause your dog to itch, making them very miserable. Fleas also suck blood, and when left unchecked, this can cause lethargy, weakness, and even death if not caught and treated in time. Common (medical) conditions and infections from fleas include flea allergic dermatitis and tapeworms.
To make sure a flea infestation doesn’t begin or become a vicious cycle in your home, all your pets, including indoor-only cats or dogs, need to be on a year-round preventative. Once fleas enter your home, they can quickly take hold (each adult female flea can lay anywhere from 20–50 eggs each day) and cause an infestation that can be very difficult to completely get rid of.
Ticks can be found anywhere in Canada and at any time of the year. Like fleas, ticks suck a dog’s blood, and when left unchecked can also cause related health problems. Ticks can also transmit several debilitating diseases in dogs, such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, tick paralysis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Even when using tick preventative medications, it’s still a good idea to check your dog for ticks after time spent outside, so your dog doesn’t bring ticks indoors (and also as an additional layer of protection against disease transmission).
Mosquitoes can transmit many diseases, and just a single bite from an infected mosquito can put your dog at risk for developing heart worm disease. While dogs that spend lots of time outside (when mosquitoes are feeding) may have a higher risk, even dogs that rarely go outside are at risk for heart worm disease.