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Parasite Control and Prevention

External Parasites

The most commonly encountered external parasites are Fleas and Ticks. All animals that go outside are at risk of getting fleas and ticks. Peak times for ticks are spring and fall, but they are able to survive in the environment when the temperature is at least 4 degrees. Since winters are getting warmer, veterinarians usually recommend treating all year round. Fleas can make your dog itchy and uncomfortable but can also cause flea allergy dermatitis, anemia and can transmit tapeworm. Ticks are blood feeders that can spread Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases. There are many choices when it comes to flea and tick prevention. We can help you pick an appropriate product for your pet by looking at weight, age and lifestyle.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites can be contracted by one or more of the following:

  • From a pregnant or nursing mother to her puppies
  • Ingestion of feces
  • Ingestion of raw meat or animal remains
  • Ingestion of infected soil
  • In the case of tapeworm, ingestion of fleas

Intestinal worms can cause varying degrees of discomfort from no symptoms to weight loss, malnourishment, intestinal discomfort, intestinal blockage, bloody diarrhea, and/ or anemia. Pets are also at risk for contracting other internal parasites such as Coccidia, Giardia, Heartworm, Lungworm and Raccoon Roundworm. There are a number of new treatments options available to treat and prevent these parasites through topical or oral administration.

Canine Heartworm

Heartworm is just as it sounds; they are parasitic worms that live in a dog’s heart. Dogs can get heartworm from a mosquito bite. The larvae travel through the bloodstream into the heart, where the worms grow and can block major vessels. Thankfully, heartworm is not very common in Nova Scotia at this time. With the number of dogs adopted in other countries and brought here, Heartworm may soon become more of a concern here.

If a dog has heartworms, what symptoms should I look for?

Heartworm symptoms can include weight loss, fatigue, coughing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Treatment for Heartworm varies depending on the severity of the infection. Prevention of heartworm is something that is included in all monthly deworming products, which can be purchased along with monthly flea and tick prevention.


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