Fleas, ticks and mites (also known as scabies) are much more than a nuisance for your dog and you. These pests can cause severe skin irritations, infections and even transmit diseases. If you have discovered any one or all of these parasites on your dog, steps must be taken immediately to remove them and prevent further infestations. Most treatments can be done at home, however you will need your veterinarian’s guidance and, in some cases, prescription medication.
Apply a flea control medication to your dog. If your dogs has both fleas and ticks, purchase a medication that treats both fleas and ticks.
Manually remove the fleas often found in the dog’s arm pits, at the base of the tail and around the ears. Use a flea comb to comb out the fleas. Put the fleas into a bowl of alcohol to kill them.
Bathe your dog every other week until he is flea free. Use a gentle dog shampoo and gently scrub your dog’s fur to remove as many fleas as you can. If you have recently used a flea and tick medication on your pet, read the product’s instructions to determine when you can give your dog a bath.
Vacuum all the floors in the house. Once finished, immediately throw out the vacuum bag or empty the canister into an outside dustbin to remove any adult fleas and eggs from the house.
Wash all dog bedding in the washing machine with detergent. Use hot water if possible to help kill any eggs.
Apply a tick control medication to your dog. If your dogs has both fleas and ticks, purchase a medication that treats both fleas and ticks.
Remove ticks you can see by using pointed tweezers to grab the head of the tick. Gently and steadily pull the tick off the dog. Place the tick in alcohol to kill it.
Clean the tick bite with a cotton ball and alcohol.
Bath your dog with a mild dog soap. Gently rub your dog’s skin during the bath to help remove any loose scabs. Do not, however, pull or force any scabs off.
Medicate your dog with the mite medication that your veterinarian recommends or prescribes. Your vet may recommend a weekly medicated bath and/or giving the parasite medication ivermectin.
Treat any secondary infections or skin reactions on your dog. Your vet may also recommend antibiotics or steroids if your dog’s skin is severely irritated or infected.
Wash your dog’s bedding using hot water and washing powder.
Treat your home with a pesticide as needed. Discuss with your vet to determine if your carpets and yard need to be treated to kill any mites in the environment.
If your dog has multiple skin parasites you may need to combine treatments as recommended by your veterinarian.