In Vancouver and the lower mainland, our primary concerns are fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites. At Yaletown Pet Hospital, we carry a variety of oral and topical parasite products, but if we do not have the type/size in stock that you are looking for, we are able to order it in within a few days.
Fleas can cause itching, irritation and transmit tapeworms to your pets. They can also infect other pets in the home and even bite people! They can be a pain to rid once an infestation has occurred and we recommend year-round prevention for pets in Vancouver.
Many puppies and kittens are actually born with worms passed from their mothers, therefore we encourage checking a fecal sample on every new furry addition and monthly deworming until at least 6 months of age. There are a range of worms that we should protect against, including roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms, for both your pet’s wellbeing but also for you and your family. Talk to your veterinarian about what preventative product and deworming schedule is right for your pet.
We have seen more ticks in the past few years in Vancouver than ever before – and not only from dogs exploring our vast forests, as we did previously. Ticks are not only a nuisance, but can also pass diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and cause tick paralysis. We recommend learning what ticks look like and checking over your animal after coming in from outside, tick preventative products while the temperature is over 4C and phone us if you think you have found an engorged tick and need help removing it! We can also send off live ticks to be tested for Lyme disease.
If you’re travelling east or south, it is important to also give your pet heartworm prevention. Heartworm (Dirofilaria Immitis) is a parasite that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Infected dogs can develop adult worms that will migrate to the vasculature of the heart and dangerously disturb blood flow, which can be fatal if not treated in time. Some dogs will not show any clinical signs, while others may have coughing, lethargy, weight loss, swollen abdomen and sudden death. Although less common, cats can also be susceptible to heartworms and signs include difficulty breathing, coughing, vomiting and decreased appetite.
Prevention is key and is safe, affordable and effective. Most heartworm medications also protect against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, ear mites and fleas. For safety reasons, pets that have been potentially exposed, should have their blood tested prior to starting the medication. Please consult your veterinarian at YPH to determine the best regimen for prevention for your pet!