It might seem hard to believe but tick season has started. As soon as the temperature gets above 3 degrees Celsius, ticks are awake and hungry. It’s time to start preventing these nasty little parasites from infecting either you and your pets with any of the serious illnesses that they carry. Ticks may carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Erlichia or Anaplasmosis. Most seriously, Deer Ticks often carry Lyme disease. Brown Dog Ticks may drop off your pet and infest your home.
We have a number of tips on tick prevention and removal on our Fleas, Ticks and Worms pages. Do NOT just pull the tick off, as the ticks head is embedded in the skin. To remove it you will need a pair of fine tweezers. Do NOT try and kill the tick with any fluid such as alcohol or pesticide. Many of these substances will cause the tick to regurgitate immediately into your pet, transmitting any diseases they may carry. Follow the links below for prevention and removal tips for your pet.
New Oral Preventive Available for Dogs
Unfortunately, there is still no safe tick preventive to give to cats. If your cat goes outdoors, you should follow the inspection and removal procedures outlined on the page above.
For dogs, however, we now have a second option. In addition to Advantix, the topical tick preventive we have recommended in the past, we now have an oral preventive option. Nexgard is new to the Canadian market for 2015. Both of these options also kill fleas.
The advantages of Nexgard are that it is a tasty chew, and that it is safe in households with cats. However, in order for Nexgard to kill the parasite, the tick or flea must bite the dog, which makes it unsuitable for any dog who has a flea allergy. For those dogs, Advantix, which is applied to the coat, and kills ticks and fleas before they bite is still the better choice.
Our veterinarians would be happy to discuss the best solution for your individual dog.