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Dog Fleas, Lice and Ticks

Ticks are very common in Kamloops! Ticks are generally seen as long as the daytime temperature remains above 4°C, though they are most common from February to July. Ticks can carry a variety of diseases such as Lyme disease and blood-borne diseases, but those types of ticks are not common in the Kamloops area. A condition known as tick paralysis is known to occur commonly in our area. In these cases, the dog will become paralyzed starting with their hind end usually. Paralysis resolves soon after the tick is removed though it is important that the tick is removed as soon as possible to prevent serious complications. Lice are also very common in Kamloops. They are usually very itchy, especially around the collar and ears. Please bring your pet to the vet if you think your pet has lice for confirmation and treatment. Fleas, however, are uncommon in Kamloops though they are often found in the surrounding areas such as Clearwater and Vancouver. Prevention and/or treatment may be required if your pet travels to a high-risk area or if fleas are noted on your pet during an exam.

How can I tell if my dog has fleas, lice or ticks?

Examine your dog for ticks often during tick season, especially after any walking in tall grasses. Spread the fur to look at the skin. Common areas ticks are found are in and around the ears, collar, belly or bum areas, though they can be anywhere on your pet. They are oval shaped and brown/grey and they can be the size of your pinky nail or smaller depending on how long they have been attached. If you find what you think may be a tick, call your veterinarian for advice or to confirm that it is, in fact, a tick and for advice on removing. Dogs with fleas and lice are usually VERY itchy. Lice are usually tiny brown bugs attached to your pet’s skin whereas fleas are usually always on the move and scurrying around. If you suspect your pet has fleas or lice, please make an appointment with your vet to determine what the parasite is and to obtain appropriate treatment.

How can I prevent fleas and ticks on my dog?

Various effective flea and tick preventatives are available through your veterinarian. Avoid using products from pet stores as their efficacy is questionable and there may be risks involved depending on the product.

What are the treatment options for dogs who have ticks?

Prevention is effective though if you find a tick, it should be removed. Please call your veterinarian for advice prior to removing it yourself as some techniques can put your pet at unnecessary risk. Never burn or squeeze a tick!

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