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Your pet is susceptible to worms when he or she is outside or comes in contact with other pets. Sometimes, it's possible for your pet to develop worms because of you bringing a flea into your home or an infected mosquito entering your home. That's why our veterinarian at Richview Animal Hospital, serving Etobicoke, ON and the surrounding region, offers you a deworming service, especially since worms can be deadly.
During an annual examination, our Etobicoke veterinarian will test your pet for worms by analyzing a fresh stool sample. Prior to your exam, we'll ask you to bring a sample in a clean plastic bag, but if you're unable to obtain one, our vet will collect a sample during your appointment. The vet uses a microscope to analyze the sample for any parasites. From this analysis, the vet is able to determine the variety of worm your pet has.
Heartworms are much more common in dogs than cats. Heartworms don't occur in the intestines. These parasites inhabit your pet's blood vessels, heart and possibly lungs. If our vet suspects your pet has a heartworm, a blood sample will be taken and evaluated.
As soon as we receive the results of your pet's diagnosis, we'll begin the treatment process. The earlier we detect and treat the worms, the better the prognosis. For intestinal parasites, our veterinarian in Etobicoke, ON will administer a broad-spectrum medication to kill the worms either via injection or orally. Generally, our vet administers the first deworming treatment as early as two weeks after your pet is born. A few weeks later, our vet will give your pet the second dose. Treatment is given so early since worms can pass from your pet's mother to her babies. If not treated early, these parasites rob your developing pup of the nutrients necessary for growth.
If your pet has been diagnosed with heartworms, it's important he or she receives care as soon as possible before the parasites reproduce and spread to the heart and lungs. The treatment for heartworms is much more extensive than that of intestinal worms. The first step consists of antibiotics, a heartworm preventative drug and steroids. The antibiotics treat any bacteria found in the heartworms. The preventative medicine kills any larvae since the actual heartworm medication only kills adult worms. The corticosteroids help reduce inflammation.
After the initial three medications, our vet will give your pet the adult heartworm medication. The actual treatment for heartworms consists of several injections given to kill the worms. The treatment takes a minimum of 60 days to complete. There's only one drug safe for killing heartworms, and it's given in the back muscles.
If you suspect your pet has worms or is due for his or her annual examination, contact Richview Animal Hospital, serving Etobicoke, ON and the surrounding region, by calling 416-245-8805.