Preventive Services

Parasite Prevention & Control

By |

The parasites that infect our pets are often more than just a nuisance. Some pet parasites can cause serious illness and others can be fatal if left untreated. Fleas can transmit tapeworms and bartonella, ticks can transfer Lyme disease and heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes.

Intestinal parasites such as the roundworm and hookworm threaten pets and can be transmissible to humans. This is why prevention and treatment are so important. Parasites like to hide and often our pets can have them without us even knowing because there are often no obvious signs or symptoms in the early stages of infection. Fleas hide within the fur of the pet and ticks are so small that they can easily be missed until they become engorged. Pets suffering from heartworm disease often show no signs at all until the symptoms of heart failure develop.

We can examine your pet for evidence of external parasites pet and offer diagnostic tests to determine if your pet has any internal parasites. There are medications that we use to treat active parasitic infections and other that we use to prevent infections from developing. By preventing parasites, you can protect your pet and your family from possible serious disease. Let us work with you to develop a plan that is safe and effective for your pet.

Heartworm and Tick Borne Diseases

By |

Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease was once considered a rare condition affecting dogs in Ontario. However, recent changes in climate have led to a significant increase in the numbers of dogs that test positive for this disease in Ontario each year. Another notable change in the incidence of heartworm disease in Ontario occurred after Hurricane Katrina, when many of the pets from the southern US were rescued and brought to shelters in Canada. These pets acted as reservoirs for the disease and this has contributed to the increase in the number of heartworm positive dogs that we now see year after year.

Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes. This is why our dogs should be on preventive medication during the late spring, summer, and early fall months when mosquitoes are present. Heartworm disease is easily preventable but expensive to treat and potentially fatal when left untreated. Monthly prevention is the safest and most economical way to deal with this dangerous disease.

Tick Borne Diseases

Ticks hide in grasses and shrubs. Once the outside temperature reaches 4 degrees Celsius, they can attach to pets while they play and walk through our parks. Mild winters lead to expectations that the tick season may not ever cease. Ticks are very small and often missed until they start to feed on pets and grow in size. Unfortunately, once we see them, they have often been feeding long enough to transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Ehrlichiosis. Over the past three years, we have seen a huge increase in the numbers of ticks affecting neighbourhood pets and as a result tick-borne diseases are rising sharply in Ontario.

Last year our laboratory diagnosed thousands of cases of Lyme disease in Ontario indicating that the disease is here to stay. The use of oral or topical preventatives is the best way to both repel and kill ticks, thus helping prevent the spread of disease. Prevention of ticks should start when the temperature rises above 4 ° Celsius.