Treatment & Prevention of Parasites


Flea and tick infestations are a common problem in the life of a dog or cat, but that doesn’t mean they have to be chronic or trigger a more serious complication.

Bemidji Veterinary Hospital is experienced in and equipped for the typical parasite infestations seen in the northern Minnesota area. We provide topicals such as Vectra 3D and Frontline Gold, the Bravecto oral chewable, and Seresto collar for flea and tick prevention. When it comes to the prevention of heartworm spread through mosquito bites, Heartgard Plus and Iverhart Max are our products of choice.

The most problematic parasites in the Bemidji area are ticks. Though wood ticks and deer ticks are our most common species, others are migrating north.

Ticks can spread the following diseases:

  • Lyme disease
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Babesiosis
  • Tick paralysis

Both species of tick are known to feed on the blood of animals such as raccoons, deer, mice, dogs, and cats. However, they will also feed on human hosts. It is commonly believed that only pets that live in rural areas are exposed to ticks, but this is false. We regularly see ticks on, and diagnose diseases in, pets that live in urban areas and spend most of their time indoors.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers the following tips for removing ticks:

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
  • Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  • After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.