What You Need To Know About Parasites & Your Pets by Michelle W., ACA

Has your pet had its annual parasite blood test? Did you receive your summer parasite prevention for the spring/summer season?

If not, North Town Veterinary Hospital has plenty of information to help you. Here are some of our most common summer concerns when it comes to Parasite Season:


Heartworm is a disease that can be transmitted through a mosquito. Many believe that indoor pets or pets that live in urban areas are not susceptible to heartworm but even if your pet does not go outside often: they can still get heartworm. Mosquitoes are so small, they come in/out of our houses without us knowing. It’s really as simple as that! Once the mosquito has taken a blood meal from an animal, the heartworm will enter the blood stream and mate: reproducing MANY worms inside your pet. Within 6 months your pets’ heart could be infested with adult heartworms causing serious health concerns and even death.


Lyme is a disease transmitted by certain ticks in our area like the black legged tick, also called the Deer tick. The Deer tick can live on your pet for up to 48 hours without taking a blood meal, but once they do they may transmit Lyme disease. Lyme is not usually something that shows up right now. It can take months for symptoms to arise if not longer. The best way to know if your pet has contracted Lyme disease is to get an annual 4DX blood test at North Town Vet.

Lyme disease can stay dormant in your pet for up to 3 years with no noticeable symptoms, by then there can be irreversible damage done. Some symptoms are fever, lameness, arthritis, kidney and liver failure. Other diseases that certain ticks can transmit are, Anaplasmosis, and Erlichiosis which is also dangerous for pets to contract.


Most of us know of fleas! But do we know the real dangers of them? Fleas are teeny TINY parasites that your pet can get from anywhere! From outside, from another pet, or visiting the pet store. They have huge legs which allow them to jump far distances, and because they are so small can hide in your pets’ fur easily. Fleas can transmit tapeworms which are more harmful to your pets than the actual fleas can be. Tapeworms can also be ingested through infected foods, water, as well as fecal material as they contain tapeworm eggs. An infestation of tapeworms can cause severe nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. In severe cases of tapeworm infection in puppies and kittens can cause death due to dehydration and malnourishment.

Brampton’s North Town emergency animal hospital offers special price packaging for all of your Parasite Testing and prevention needs. It is important to note that while over the counter prevention medication is available at places like WalMart or online, many of these drugs are not regulated to the same standards as a veterinary prescribed prevention medication and can even be very toxic for your pets. Have a conversation with your Brampton veterinarian about what type Parasite Prevention might be right for your pet, and start protecting them today!