There are many parasites found in Ontario; most are easily transferable between our pets, and some are even zoonotic (meaning, we can get them from our pets). Testing is done on an annual basis, as well as any time your pet exhibits symptoms that may be caused by the presence of an internal parasite.


For external parasites, keep an eye out for skin changes or rashes. In some cases, you may even be able to see small fleas or ticks on your pet’s coat. The best treatment for parasites is prevention; your Veterinary Health Care Team can recommend an appropriate parasite preventative medication for you pet each spring. If a parasite is present, treatment can be prescribed, followed by preventive medication.

gold retriever scratching
Giardia

Infects the small intestine of dogs and cats. In young animals, Giardia can cause explosive, watery diarrhea, dehydration, and an un-kept appearance. Adult animals are capable of harbouring the infections without clinical signs. Giardia can be transmitted to humans.

Heartworm

Transmitted by mosquitoes, it is a potentially fatal threat all dogs in which the best way to help protect you pet is to use prevention. A topical or oral product should be used monthly from June to November.

Hookworm

Is an intestinal parasite ingested by dogs and cats, some species of hookworm are zoonotic.

Roundworms

Found in dirt or mud, can be ingested by dogs and cats. Places with high animal traffic contain an increased threat of these parasites. Roundworm larvae can infect family members.

Fleas

Easily passed between animals where they are in close proximity (boarding facilities, groomers, in the home). Transmission and development can continue indoors during the cold season, making fleas a year-round threat for both he pet and the owners.

Mange mites

Transmitted through direct contact with infected animals. Humans can become infected with the Scabies type of mite.

Ear Mites

A highly contagious parasite that can lead to secondary infections in the ear canal and inner ear. Social environments, where pets are in close proximity, increase the threat of ear mites.

Ticks

Can carry Lyme Disease; most commonly found in fields with long grass, and forested areas or ravines.

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