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As the warmer weather approaches, Birch-Dan Animal Hospital would like to remind all our clients that it is time to make sure you're up-to-date on flea and heartworm control. Please contact us at 416-266-1377 or by email at to arrange annual heartworm and wellness blood tests, as well as parasite control for your pets.

The incidence of heartworm disease is on the rise in Ontario. As a blood borne parasite transmitted by mosquitos, heartworm can pose serious health risks by residing in the heart and blood vessels that supply the lungs. Heartworm can grow up to 30 centimeters and number in the hundreds. Damage to the heart, lungs and liver as well as obstruction of blood flow may result from this infestation. Eventually, fluid may build up in the lungs and restrict breathing. When damage to the internal organs is severe enough, death may result.

Fleas are an external parasite of both dogs and cats. They are most prevalent in Toronto during the warmer months, with a peak in the late summer and early fall. When fleas bite our pets, they not only make them uncomfortable but can also cause allergic skin reactions and can carry parasites such as tapeworms. Fleas are in the environment and your pet need not come in contact with another animal in order to become infected. Unfortunately, when this happens fleas can reproduce at an alarming rate within your home.

Fleas and heartworm disease may be easily prevented. Start by having us examine a sample of your dog's blood for the presence of adult heartworm parasites. The appropriate testing frequency will be determined by you and our veterinary staff. If your dog is not infected a preventative program should be implemented. The preventative program involves applying a topical solution to the skin once a month during mosquito and flea season. This medication destroys the immature heartworms transmitted by the mosquitoes and stops the cycle of the parasites. It also acts a preventative against fleas and an intestinal dewormer for both dogs and cats. Please contact us if you need any further information on heartworm and flea control and to book an appointment for your pet.

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