Dogs Fleas & Ticks

What are Fleas?

Fleas are small insects that bite through skin and feed on blood. They are about 3mm long and are brown and shiny. There are hundreds of types of fleas, affecting many different animals (and people). The most common flea in the UK is the cat flea which also infests dogs.

Will I know if my pet has fleas?

No! Not always. Fleas are a very common problem. If you have cats or dogs the chances are they will experience them in their life unless on regular treatment.

Does it matter if my pet has fleas?

Yes! Although some animals carry large numbers without any signs of discomfort, fleas can cause irritation and skin problems in pets. This will cause your pet to itch, scratch or bite their coat. Newly hatched fleas will often jump onto pet owners causing diseases that affect people as well as pets.

  • Some pets develop Flea Allergic Dermatitis, an allergy to fleas where they can suffer nasty skin reaction.
  • Fleas can carry tapeworm, which infects cats and dog. Ask us about worming, especially if you are seeing any fleas.
  • Fleas can also spread certain diseases.

Is your home harbouring a problem?

Did you know that if your pet has fleas it is actually your home that is harbouring most of the flea problem? Adult fleas on your pet are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact they are only 5% of the whole infestation. The other 95% consists of flea eggs, larvae and pupae that can be spread throughout your home by your pets and develop into new adult fleas in only a few weeks. A warm house provides the perfect breeding environment so central heating makes fleas a problem all year round.

What should I do?

The best prevention for fleas and tick-borne disease is year round prevention from fleas and tick infestation. We recommend regular parasite control using the products listed in the table below.

Product From what age How often Also treats
Nexgard Spectra 8 weeks Every month Ticks, roundworms
Frontline Combo Spot-on 8 weeks (2kg body weight+) Every 4 – 8 weeks Ticks – use monthly. Controls flea eggs and larvae in the house for up to 6 weeks
Frontline Spray 2 days Every 3 months in adult dogs Ticks – use monthly.
Lice – single treatment
Advocate 9 weeks Every 4 weeks Ear mites, Heartworm, Roundworm, Hookworm, Lungworm
Advantix Spot-on 7 weeks + Monthly Ticks – TOXIC TO CATS

What are Ticks and where do they come from?

Ticks belong to the spider family. A tick is an insect that burrows its head beneath the skin and sucks blood, becoming engorged as it feeds. They are common on animals with access to fields and areas grazed by sheep and cattle, the tick’s main hosts. Pets can also pick up ticks from gardens, parks, kennels and the forest.

What do they look like?

The first sign you will see of a tick on your pet is a small grey dot which has attached itself to your pet’s skin. As the tick feeds on the blood of the animal it gets longer and can be mistaken for a wart or lump that has suddenly appeared on your pet. When the tick has fed it can be as big as a pea or a bean, making it fairly noticeable. They are commonly found during grooming.

What problems do they cause?

Ticks can cause sores where they are attached and can also transmit serious disease such as Lyme disease. Exotic diseases are being introduced into the UK because of increased movement of pets and these can be fatal.

I’ve found a tick, what should I do?

The tick can be removed by rotating it through 360° and gently pulling. This is most easily achieved by using a “tick-hook”. If you have any doubts we will remove any ticks for you as you must take great care not to leave the mouth parts of the tick behind.
If you regularly walk your dog where you know there are ticks or your pets come into contact with sheep and hedgehogs we recommend monthly treatment with “Nexgard Spectra”