Dog Fleas and Ticks

Fleas can be found on any animal – including wildlife and our pets. They are the most common external parasite in our pets and can cause skin problems, as well as transfer diseases. The adults live on the animal affected and use their blood for nutrition. Eggs laid in the hair coat fall off into the environment, and progress into the larva and pupae stages, and develop into more adult fleas.

Ticks are becoming an increasing concern in London, as we are seeing more of them present, even within the city limits. They are a skin parasite that feeds on the blood of their hosts and can transmit many serious diseases, including Lyme disease. This poses a health hazard to both our pets and us humans! Their life cycle includes four stages: egg, larva, nymph and adult.

How can you tell if your dog has fleas or ticks?

For fleas, often the first thing noticed is an increase in scratching. Hair loss, red skin, or chewing at the fur can also be seen. Flea dirt, which can look like small flakes of pepper, can often be seen around the base of the tail and the lower back. Live fleas can also be seen. Ticks can be more difficult to detect, as they can be as small as the size of a pinhead. Often the first thing identified is a lump on the skin where the tick is embedded (the tick body), which is a blue/purple, brown, black or grey colour (with legs!). The area around the tick attachment may be red and irritated.

How do you prevent fleas and ticks in a dog?

There are multiple veterinary approved flea and tick medications available that are either given by mouth or applied as a liquid on the skin at the base of the neck. Each treatment can last for 1 or 3 months, depending on the product.

For fleas, each product varies in whether it kills the adult, eggs, and larva, or a combination, to prevent flea infestation. Fleas can occur at any time of year, and often owners prefer year-round prevention.

For ticks, the goal of the medication is to kill off the tick before it has a chance to transfer diseases (before the first eight hours). Ticks can be present in the environment at 4°C or higher, so prevention is recommended from early spring to late fall, or year-round if a mild winter occurs. As a precaution for ticks, carefully check over your dog after they have been outside (look especially around the ears, under the arms, and around the mouth), for quick identification and removal of ticks present. There are no veterinary-approved flea or tick preventions or treatments available outside of veterinary clinics: any products sold outside of the veterinary hospital are either ineffective, do not pass safety regulations, or can be seriously harmful when used.


cat dog christmas

Christmas Hazards for Pets

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year. However, it can also come with some serious and potentially lethal dangers to our pets. 

Read More
See All Articles

Last updated: March 16, 2022.

Dear Clients,

We are happy to announce that we will be allowing clients inside our exam rooms again! 1 person per pet will be allowed into the building. Masks must be worn for the duration of the appointment, even after March 21, 2022.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!



If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link. You will be connected to an on-call veterinarian that may be located at a different hospital.


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.


We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED


Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Fairmont Animal Hospital