Welland and the Niagara Region has just experienced one of the mildest winters on record and we are now looking forward to much warmer spring weather in the coming months. The change in weather has lead to fleas, ticks and mosquitoes making an earlier appearance than we are used to. The staff at our Welland veterinary clinic are seeing quite a few pets with ticks and fleas coming into our animal hospital. We’d encourage everyone to contact our veterinary clinic to pick up medication to help protect your pet and family from these parasites. Heartworm disease is also a major concern this year with the warm weather. Dogs can become infected with this parasite through a mosquito bite, often resulting in fatal consequences. A study performed by the Ontario Veterinary College last year found a 62% increase in the number of cases of Heartworm disease in Ontario from 2002 to 2011. This statistic highlights the importance of having your dog on preventative medication from May 1st to December 1st each year. Contact our animal hospital today to schedule an appointment to have your dog tested for heartworm and to pick up medication to prevent this disease. Our veterinarians and staff would be happy to answer any questions you might have about options to prevent these parasites.
We are also surprised by the number of pets we examine that have intestinal parasites. Not only are they harmful to pets but many can be transferred to humans as well!!! Be sure to submit a fecal sample from your dog or cat each year for testing to make sure they aren’t harbouring any worms or other intestinal parasites. Worms aren’t always visible in the stool and we usually need to examine the sample microscopically for eggs from the parasite to confirm infection.