We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

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Cat Deworming

Cats can be infected with different types of parasites (worms) such as roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms, as well as coccidia and giardia. They can become infected in different ways, such as contact with outdoor cats or wildlife, hunting, or ingesting infected feces. Cats that are completely indoors (and never go outside at all) are at lower risk, but can still come in contact with parasites. For this reason, we recommend routine fecal tests and deworming for all kittens and all-new cats to the household, as well as for adult cats who go outside, and we recommend a routine fecal test at the annual exam for indoor cats.

What are some types of parasites found in cats?

Roundworms are one of the most common parasites we see in cats. A cat can get roundworms by eating infective worm eggs from their environment, eating prey (usually mice) that is carrying the worms, or a nursing mother can transmit them to her kittens.

Fleas carry tapeworms, and when a cat with fleas is grooming, they will ingest the flea and become infected with tapeworms. Unfortunately, tapeworms sometimes do not show up on fecal tests (false negative). Therefore, any cat with fleas should also be treated for tapeworms.

Hookworms are transmitted by environmental contact or by eating an infected prey animal such as mice or certain insects.

Giardia and Coccidia are microscopic parasites that are commonly transmitted through contact with infected fecal material from other animals, cats, dogs and wildlife.

If my cat has worms, what symptoms should I look for?

In some cases, you may notice changes in your cat’s feces, such as diarrhea or blood. You may even see worms in the feces. But often there are no visible signs in the cat or the feces – the only way to know for sure it to test.

Are worms dangerous to humans?

Some of these parasites can be transmitted to humans, especially anyone who is pregnant or has a compromised immune system. Generally, the transmission is through the fecal-oral route (fecal material from the pet coming in contact with the person’s mouth).

What is the deworming schedule?

The specific medication and schedule will vary based on the type of parasite. In general, there will be either a tablet or a liquid medication that is given at home for a set period of time, followed by a recheck fecal sample to ensure the infection is gone. For kittens, we recommend routine deworming with a safe and effective medication, in addition to treatment for any specific parasites they may have. For adult cats who spend time outside unsupervised or who are known hunters, we recommend a tablet that treats roundworms and tapeworms and should be given at least every 6 months.

Are there any side effects from deworming medication?

In general, we do not see any side effects when these medications are administered appropriately, although we will sometimes see softer stool while giving the medication. If you notice anything of concern with your pet, please let us know.


Cases of Leptospirosis in the GTA

Westbridge Veterinary Hospital has received reports of leptospirosis cases from other veterinary hospitals in the GTA.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

We are all aware of the concerns and rapidly changing situation with COVID-19. Due to the close public contact that our work requires, we have taken necessary measures to protect our clients, our staff and work hard to ensure we can continue to provide excellent care for our patients.

The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

1. If you have travelled outside Canada or come in contact with anyone who has travelled outside Canada in the past 3 weeks, or if you are feeling unwell, (coughing, fever, fatigue, etc.), please contact our clinic. We will be more than happy to reschedule your appointment or help arrange to see your pet safely.

2. We are currently operating a "closed-door" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 905-285-0002. We will take a history by phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet and you will get another call from the Doctor to discuss our recommended treatment plan.

3. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

4. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm & Saturday from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm.

5. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 4-6 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the clinic. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment from your vehicle.

6. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

Your dedicated team at Westbridge Veterinary Hospital