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Dog Flea & Tick - Prevention and Treatment of Dog Fleas and Ticks

Can fleas and ticks spread from my dog to my home and family?

They can. It only takes one tick or one flea to get on your pet and then spread to you.

Dr. Catherine MacLean
Sugar River Animal Hospital

Can my dog get fleas and ticks even if they're primarily an indoor dog?

They can. Dogs go outside to go to the bathroom or to go someplace with their owner, and one tick or one flea comes in the house and can spread to you and your other pets.

What health problems can fleas and ticks cause my dog?

Fleas can cause anemia if there's a heavy enough burden, and they can pass other diseases. Ticks are more common in our area, and the things that they spread are Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia.

How effective are flea and tick medications?

It depends. Oral flea and tick medications are superior to either topical or collars. Many topicals now have resistance to them or take too long to kill ticks and are resistant to fleas.

What is the difference between over-the-counter and prescription flea and tick medications?

Many over-the-counter medicines have been on the market for a long time, such as Frontline, and that's why we're seeing the flea and tick resistance to them. There are also many generics in the carrier that transmit those chemicals in them and might not be as effective, as we also see a breakdown.

What different types of flea and tick preventative treatments are there?

As I mentioned, there are orals, there are collars, and there are topicals, and it's best to discuss with your veterinarian about what's appropriate for your pet.

What will my veterinarian recommend for flea and tick treatment?

I can't speak for other veterinarians, but I'll typically recommend oral products that will last for three months. And for cats, it's a topical because they couldn't get enough cats to eat the oral, but it's the same drug, only in a liquid form.

How can I identify fleas on my dog?

It can be tricky, as fleas are incredibly tiny. Often you will see the dog chewing at their butt area. A fine-toothed flea comb might help you find them, or sometimes you see them jumping off your pet.

How can I identify ticks on my dog?

Usually, people find them when they are attached and fully engorged. Rarely you'll see them crawling on your pets. If you find one, you can remove it, or you can bring the dog to us to take the tick off for you.

What should I do if I see fleas or ticks on my dog?

Don't panic. Call your veterinarian so that we can help you with medication. Also, decontamination of the environment is super vital.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (603) 865-5532, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

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