Heartworms are exactly what they sound–3-6 inch worms that live in the heart [...]
There are many parasites that can endanger your pet’s life, or just make it very uncomfortable. Let us help you choose the right prevention and treatment.
Flea season starts in July or August and goes until Christmas. Some years are worse than others. If your pet has fleas, you have fleas in your house as they produce thousands of egg which fall off onto your floors. There are some very safe products available to prevent fleas. There are also some very dangerous ones. Please contact us about a flea prevention program before starting on one.
See the flea article in the Pet Health Library of our site.
There has been a recognized increase in the number of ticks being seen in Canada in the past few years. There are various species of ticks that can attach to our pets. Some carry diseases such as Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
We have products to help prevent ticks from attaching to dogs. If you find ticks on your dog, don’t just pull them off as you may leave the head imbedded in your dog’s skin. Also examination of the tick may be beneficial to determine if it is a species known to spread disease.
If a puppy or kitten’s mother had worms as a youngster that puppy or kitten will have worms themselves as a certain number lie dormant in mum until she gets pregnant. The worms then are either passed across the placenta or in the milk. Worms can cause diarrhea, coughing, weight loss and even anemia. The eggs are shed in the feces of the pet and then infect their environment just waiting to be picked up by another animal or possibly a human.
You many not see worms as the eggs that pass in the stool are microscopic. Regular fecal testing is recommended for all puppies and kittens as well as pets that are out and about.
Heartworm is just that. A long worm that lives in the heart that if left untreated causes damage and eventually heart failure and death. There are areas in Canada where a lot of dogs are infected and every year there are reported cases in Toronto. The disease is spread by mosquitos so it just takes one dog in your neighbourhood that is infected to put your dog at risk. And yes there are mosquitos in Toronto.
Treatment is potentially dangerous. Prevention is very easy. Heartworm prevention season is mosquito season so in May we start by testing for an infection from the summer before because that is how long the baby worms take to show up in your dog’s blood. If the blood test is negative your dog will go on either an oral or topical once a month medication to prevent heartworm. As an added benefit, most heartworm preventatives also protect your dog from roundworms that might be lurking in the park over the summer.