Treating Fleas and Ticks in Yorkies and Dogs

One summer I was working in the garden and took Aspen out with me, and tied her nearby so she wouldn't run away.  She decided to lie down in the grass in the shade because it was a warm day. A few days later, I noticed that her leg was swelling, and found under her long, beautiful hair, two nasty bites. They were large enough to be tick bites. 

I had treated her with Frontline a few weeks earlier, so wondered whether it washed off, or just what happened. But between that and some flea bites that she received over the years, we know that she am very allergic to flea bites.  I am  hoping this article will help you as much as it helped me. Article used with permission.

Keeping Your Dog Safe from Fleas and Ticks

By: Lisa Pallardy, formerly posted on

Fleas are the most common external parasites that affect our dogs and, although they prefer dog blood, fleas are quite happy to dine on our ankles as well. And although ticks are not as common, they are potentially more dangerous, to us and to our dogs, because they can transmit such diseases as Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. 

Fleas and ticks thrive whenever and wherever the humidity is above 50 percent and the temperature is over 68 degrees Fahrenheit.  Diagnosing a possible flea infestation is relatively simple, your dog will scratch. Additionally, you can usually actually see the little critters, or see white and black grains, about the size of sand grains, in your dogs coat (these are the eggs and feces of fleas). 

Tick infestation can only be detected by finding one or more ticks on your dogs skin, so it's a good idea to check for these parasites when you groom your dog several times a week. 

To remove a tick, use tweezers to grasp it as close as possible to your dog's skin, and then pull it out slowly. [I will add that my sister worked in a Veterinary Hospital for several years, and they suggested taking a credit card or something similar, and putting it at the head-end of the "bloated" body of the tick, and quickly "flicking" sideways, away from the direction of the tick's head, as they enter sideways. The tick would have to be bloated for this to work well.]

After removing the tick, clean the bite area with an antiseptic. While your dog's reaction to flea infestation is usually mild (scratching, itching), other sensitivities, such as an allergy to flea saliva, bacterial skin infections and, in very small puppies anemia, can result, so it's always good to do whatever you can to help keep your dog flea-free. Ideally, flea treatment should begin before the flea season begins in your area (early spring).

Since the 1980s, pharmaceutical companies have developed many new chemical treatments for controlling or preventing fleas and other external parasites, and there are some great products available today in the form of flea collars, pills, oral liquids, spray-on formulas,and special shampoos. Look for products that contain IGRs (insect growth regulators), IDIs (insect development inhibitors), neurotransmitter inhibitors, naturally occurring neurotoxins, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), or cell growth inhibitors.

IGRs and IDIs (for example, Program) should be used only when your dog has no fleas, so now is the perfect time to invest in these products. If your dog becomes infested with fleas, that's when you use the topical products, such as Frontline, Advantage, or Revolution. [I use Frontline to prevent infestation.]

Remember, if a flea problem exists in your home, it is pointless to treat just your dog. Your dog's total environment (including the carpet, your dog's bedding, the yard, and even your car), as well as any other pets you have, must be treated in order to remove fleas in all stages of the life cycle.

Flea larvae is probably also living in your dog's bedding, as well as any furniture where your dog likes to lounge. It does no good to just get rid of the flea itself, you've got to treat your dog's environment for fleas that may be in various stages of the life cycle. A female flea lays up to 50 eggs a day, and these eggs are dislodged into your entire environment when your dog scratches, so on any given day, the fleas in your dog's environment (your home!) could be in different stages of their life cycle.

Professional carpet treatment can be highly effective for preventing flea eggs and larvae from maturing, and many such treatments come with a one-year guarantee. Check with your carpet cleaners about such a treatment.

Fortunately, most flea and tick infestations are relatively easy to diagnose, cause little harm to our beloved dogs, and will respond to treatment. But it's always up to us to make sure our dogs are protected.

Article by:

Lisa Pallardy was the owner of an interactive site for dog lovers featuring information on dog care and training, discounts on flea and tick products you need, a gift shop for dogs and dog lovers, and beautiful Pet Greetings, including New Puppy Adoption Announcements. She is the mother of 6 children and lover of 3 dogs. For permission to reprint this article, please contact the author at

I was unable to reach the owner's site when updating today, it may no longer be active.

Updated 12/18/15

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