Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.
We’ve compiled a list of common questions and answers about heartworms for new and seasoned pet owners.
What is a heartworm?
It’s exactly how it sounds: a worm that lives in the heart! These parasites inhabit primarily dogs and cats.
How does my pet get Heartworm?
Mosquitoes! These pests are a nuisance to us and our furry companion, but they also transmit illnesses, like Heartworm disease. This is why “Heartworm season” in Southern Ontario starts in the spring and goes throughout the summer. That’s when we see mosquitoes.
Why should I test my pet for Heartworm?
Pets rarely show symptoms of Heartworm disease until the infection is large and has already caused irreversible damage. While Heartworm preventatives are effective, they are not a treatment. It is important to ensure that the doses are given on time and for the full heartworm season, and sometimes doses are missed. Testing is done to ensure your pet does not have Heartworm disease. Testing gives assurance that our pets are safe.
How do we prevent Heartworm?
There are oral tablets given by mouth, or topical solutions that are prescribed to prevent Heartworm. These preventatives for your pet are meant to be used once a month. Ask us which might be most appropriate for your best friend.
If everyone uses preventative, doesn’t that mean the risk is low?
While we are lucky to have many wonderful clients who want to prevent these infections, the threat remains in Ontario. The primary carriers are canines that don’t have a loving owner: coyotes. The same coyotes you see roaming the parks, trails or behind your home are the ones being bitten by the same mosquitoes that can later bite your dog.
How can I protect my pet if I don’t use preventative?
Ask your veterinarian to perform heartworm tests annually. This way, any infection your pet may get will be in the early stages and therefore easier to treat.
With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.
1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!
2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE
Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.
Continue the use of credit and debit cards as the preferred payment method.
Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
3. OPERATING HOURS
We are OPEN with the following hours:
- Monday to Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Saturday: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED
#. NEW PET OWNERS
Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.
Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!
Your dedicated team at Westbridge Veterinary Hospital