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Spring is fast approaching which means it is time to get your pet protected against the following parasites for the upcoming season.

1. Heartworm Disease – Heartworm is a parasitic disease spread by mosquitos. Mosquitos pick up the microfilaria (baby heartworm)  when  feeding on an infected animal. They can then transmit the infection when they feed off your pet.  Heartworm can be a debilitating and potentially fatal disease.  We recommend putting your dog on a heartworm preventative from May 1st to Nov 1st every year.  We also recommend testing for heartworm infection every two years to ensure that your pet is free of infection.   However,  if  your pet has had known tick exposure, or  a monthly heartworm medication was forgotten the prior year,  a yearly test is recommended.

2. FleasFleas continue to be a big problem.  Fleas are a common cause of itching and skin inflammation in dogs and cats.  We recommend that all pets be on a flea preventative from May 1st to Nov 1st.

3. Ticks – Ticks have become a big problem in our area over the last decade.  They prefer damp cooler weather so they tend to be more of a problem in the spring and fall. Ticks can spread some nasty diseases including Lyme dz., Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis.  We recommend a tick control product (Advantix or Prevent Tic Collars) for at risk dogs. Dogs with significant exposure risk should also be vaccinated against lyme dz. (Please ask our staff for more details).

4.  Intestinal Parasites – The eggs that cause intestinal parasites are passed in the feces of infected dogs.  Dogs are at high risk of contracting intestinal parasites because of their tendency to eat soil and feces.  These parasites can also be transmitted to people with potentially devastating consequences including blindness. We therefore recommend that all pets be on an intestinal worm control program.

Please call our office for more information.


Staff at the Welland Animal Hospital