These days, there are many methods for protecting our pets against parasites that harm their health, including external parasites like fleas and ticks or internal parasites like heartworm and intestinal worms (see the sections below). Always consult your vet to find the right prevention or treatment plan.
What’s the “white paper” method for detecting fleas?
You can use a white piece of paper to find out if your pet is infested with fleas, as animals with fleas don’t always scratch. Each animal will respond differently. Some may be slightly irritated while others will develop redness and severe itching. You just need to put a white piece of paper under your pet and stroke their fur in all directions so that any debris in their fur will fall onto the sheet. Then spray a little water on the debris and wait to see if it changes to a red or dark brown colour. If it does, the debris is flea excrement and the colouring comes from dried blood.
Is it true that I should always check my pet’s body when they come in from outside?
Absolutely. Ticks are mainly found in leafy areas: forest, bushes, tall grass, etc. Animals should always be combed when coming inside after playing or walking in this type of environment to check for ticks on their body. Look carefully—ticks are very well camouflaged in long and dark fur. We know this may feel like a long process, but a tick is only a few millimetres long. They grow by remaining attached to your pet and feeding on their blood. If you find a tick on your pet, safely remove it and contact us for the next steps.
Can all tick species carry Lyme disease?
Although there are more and more ticks in Québec, blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis, also known as deer ticks) are the ones that can carry Lyme disease. They can transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease to your pet after being attached for 48 hours.