Common Canine Fleas and Ticks in Canada

Fleas and ticks love dogs. Left untreated, they can cause great discomfort or disease and affect humans as well. Preventative treatment is your best defense against these nasty external parasites.

LET’S TALK ABOUT TICKS

Canada is home to roughly 40 tick species. These days, ticks can be found pretty much all over due to climate change and also because they’re carried around by the wild and domestic animals they feed on.

Common ticks include:

  • Deer tick or Blacklegged tick: As the name suggests, these ticks, Ixodes scapularis,- are commonly, but not exclusively, found on deer.
  • Western black-legged tick: Ixodes pacificus ticks are typically found on the Pacific coast; they are one of the top carriers of Borrelia burgdorferi that causes Lyme disease.
  • Ixodes angustus: It has no common name and can transmit B. burgdorferi and B. bissettii, which can cause Lyme disease.
  • Lone star tick: Amblyomma americanum ticks can transmit Lyme borreliosis, Ehrlichia, tularemia and southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI).
  • The American dog tick (or wood tick): These parasites can carry and transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever as well as tularemia; the distribution of the Dermacentor variabilis tick ranges from Saskatchewan to the Atlantic Provinces.
  • Brown dog tick: Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks have been shown to carry and transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  • Rocky Mountain wood tick: These terrible ticks, Dermacentor andersoni, can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and Colorado tick fever; they are also a major cause of tick paralysis.

Of the above, the following can harm dogs: deer tick, American dog tick, lone star tick and brown dog tick.

LET’S TALK ABOUT FLEAS

Canada is home to roughly 127 flea species and subspecies, most of which are found in Western Canada where the number of hosts is favourable. Only about 5% of these fleas attack birds while the rest mainly attack mammals – cats, dogs, skunks, raccoons and other rodents.

Common fleas include:

  • Cat flea: Feeds on dogs, cats and humans.
  • Dog flea: Feeds on dogs, cats and humans (also carries tapeworm).
  • Bird flea: Feeds on birds but can also attach to dogs, cats, humans and other animals.

The best way to protect your dog from discomfort and diseases caused by ticks and fleas, is to ROUTINELY administer effective preventative treatment.

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