Heartworm, Flea and Tick Prevention and testing

5-10 years ago we were really only concerned about Heartworm disease and preventing flea infestations on our pets and in our homes. Ticks were present but not common.  Today it is a completely different story – tick prevalence is on the rise and with the changing climate we do not see a stop insight.

Ticks begin ‘questing’ (looking for a host) as soon as the temperature reaches 4°C – so even if there is still snow on the ground they are active! We typically begin tick prevention on March 1st and continue all the way through to December.  However, this can always change.

Spring can bloom early or a warm long fall can keep the temperature above
4°C. If this occurs tick prevention may become necessary year round.

If you find a tick on your pet refer to our video page for removing it properly or call us and we can do it for you. We can identify the tick for you as well so please do not hesitate to bring it in. If there is a concern of Lyme Disease after an tick exposure we will schedule an appointment in 4-6 weeks for a blood test.

Heartworm larvae live in mosquitoes and only become active after it has been above 14°C for a couple of weeks. The larva need to grow and develop inside the mosquito to become dangerous.  This is why at Buck Animal Hospital we start preventative for heartworm in June and continue giving preventative until November.

If you and your pets are traveling to the United States or anywhere warmer than Ontario – they need to be on preventative longer or need a 4dx test 6 months post traveling.  If doses are missed from the previous season we ALWAYS recommend a 4dx test done at least 6 months later to ensure your pet has not been exposed.  Using some preventatives on a heartworm positive animal can be fatal – be sure to talk to our staff to make sure your pet is safe.

Fleas are always a concern but the pupae that live in the environment begin to become active and develop as spring blossoms. Cottages or summer homes are where a lot of animals pick up these pests. Once we open cottages after a winter, start walking around and vibrating the carpet or flooring and heating up the environment, they spring to life.

Most tick and heartworm preventative has flea protection right in the product! Just ask our staff what product would work best for your pet and lifestyle.

4dx testing is a simple blood test that we run in the hospital. An appointment can be booked with our RVT’s and they take a quick sample and run the test. Usually having results with in the hour