Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.
Heartworm disease occurs when a dog or cat is infected at a high enough burden by a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis, leading to heart failure. Heartworm is acquired by a mosquito containing an infective larvae biting and depositing the larvae into the animal. It takes approximately 5-7 months for these larvae to develop into adult heartworms within the body. They tend to migrate and live within the pulmonary artery (the artery leading from the heart to the lungs).
Symptoms of heartworm disease include, but are not limited to coughing, exercise intolerance, inappetence, difficulties breathing, elevated respiratory rate, lethargy. In some cases, we may even see heartworm in asymptomatic dogs, meaning they have no clinical signs. This may be the case if there is a low number of worms.
How do dogs get heartworm?
Dogs contract heartworm through the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquito carries the larvae and injects it into our pets.
What are the treatment options for heartworm?
The recommended treatment for heartworm consists of a medication that kills the adult worms. This is administered over a series of 3 deep intramuscular injections. In severe life-threatening cases, it may be recommended to remove the worms surgically if they are obstructing the heart and vessels.
Why is recovery and heartworm treatment challenging to treat?
Heartworm treatment is challenging for a few reasons. The treatment itself is risky and can lead to clot formation and blockage of blood vessels as the adult worms die. This can lead to heart failure, respiratory arrest and death. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that dogs are exercise restricted during treatment. As well, the treatment and follow up can be costly.
With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.
1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!
2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE
Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call 416-752-5114. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.
Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method. Cash will not be accepted at this time.
Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE
If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.
4. OPERATING HOURS
We are OPEN with the following hours:
- Monday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm - Tuesday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm - Wednesday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm - Thursday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm - Friday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm - Saturday: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm - Sunday: CLOSED
Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!