Preventive Services

You can help keep your pet healthy by protecting him or her against parasites. Heartworms, fleas, ticks, and other internal and external parasites are much more than just pests; they can cause life-threatening conditions in your pet—and cause severe, potentially fatal, health problems for you and your family. We will recommend a preventive regimen for your pet based on lifestyle and risk factors. We can also provide advice on keeping your whole household safe from parasitic infection. Set up an appointment with us to discuss parasite prevention, or call us to refill your pet’s medication. Protect your pet and your family today!

Internal Parasite Control or why “Deworm” your pet

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PARASITE CONTROL

Parasites are either intestinal or, external requiring specific/targeted prevention depending on your pet’s lifestyle and, your families’ plans for traveling with your pet.

Many people expect to see “worms” in their pet’s stool indicating their pet has become infested with parasites-however this is unusual and, can be indicative of a more severe illness. The only certain method to diagnose intestinal parasite infestation is through the use of fecal testing. Sunnyview Animal Care recommends annual fecal tests regardless of the use of preventatives, & two fecal tests for kittens & puppies 1-month apart. There are some concerns for intestinal parasites transferring illness from dogs or cats to people.

Similarly, many clients expect to see fleas or other external skin parasites on their pets. With the exception of an engorged tick, fleas & or ticks & are either so small that they can evade detection depending on the specific parasite!

As part of your pet’s annual Wellness Assessment, the veterinarian’s at Sunnyview Animal Care will evaluate & advise you on your pet’s parasite control needs.

FECAL TESTING

Unlike the external parasites seen on our pets like fleas & ticks, most intestinal parasites produce microscopic eggs that are missed by our clients. The only effective manner used to find them is to perform a microscopic fecal test.

Obtaining a fecal sample is an integral part of your pet’s complete Annual “Wellness” Examination

Flea Prevention and Control

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Fleas can cause problems for pets ranging from minor to life-threatening. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and diseases. Fleas can infest dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, and rats. And fleas don’t just stay on pets; they can bite people, too. For more information, contact us or see the flea article in the Pet Health Library on our site.

You don’t want these blood-sucking parasites on your pet or in your home. We can help keep them away or help you get rid of them if they’ve already found their way inside. Call us to find out how to eliminate and control fleas or to start your pet on a preventive today.

That being said, the policies of Sunnyview Animal Care where these medications are concerned differ significantly from other veterinary practices:

1) We have a 100% replacement guarantee when you use our products in the recommended manner

2) We DO NOT generally recommend the use of these products – the only times we see their need is if your pet (our their owners) suffer from flea bite allergies, if you have an outside cat (as cats tend to get into this trouble more often then dogs), or if your pet has the misfortune to have contacted fleas in the past – not every pet needs ANY preventative in many circumstances.

3) If your cat is inside, then the need for flea medication is minimal – the only exception is when you live in an apartment/condo setting where the may be a neighbour’s pet who is getting outside and, contacting other flea-bearing animals.

Heartworm Prevention

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At this time, Heartworm disease does not appear to be an issue in Nova Scotia, however we present this information for those clients who are considering taking their pet to the USA, or Southern Ontario & Quebec, The Red River area of Manitoba, and the southern mainland of British Columbia – as these areas are considered the ‘Hot Spots’ in Canada.

When they bite, mosquitoes can transmit heartworm infection. And those heartworms can wreak havoc on your dog or cat. These parasites can severely and sometimes fatally damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Some pets may not show any signs of infection; in those that do, symptoms can vary widely.

In dogs, signs of heartworm disease can range from coughing, fatigue, and weight loss to difficulty breathing and a swollen abdomen (caused by fluid accumulation from heart failure). Canine heartworm infection can also lead to a life-threatening complication called “caval syndrome” (a form of liver failure); without prompt surgical intervention, this condition usually causes death.

Although often thought to not be susceptible to heartworm infection, cats can indeed get heart worms – but only in the USA at this time. Cats can suffer from a syndrome referred to as heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARD); the symptoms can be subtle and may mimic those of asthma or allergic bronchitis. Signs of respiratory distress, such as rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, and panting, are common. Other symptoms include coughing, vomiting (typically unrelated to eating), and loss of appetite or weight. Heartworm infection is more difficult to diagnose in cats than it is in dogs.

Treatment for heartworm infection is far more expensive than prevention—and it can actually kill your dog. There is no approved treatment for cats. Some cats spontaneously rid themselves of the infection; others might not survive it. And even one or two adult heartworms in a cat can cause serious problems.

Fortunately, there’s a way to keep your dog or cat safe: by administering monthly heartworm preventives. Most heartworm medications also protect your pet against other parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, ear mites, fleas, and ticks. We can recommend a regimen of prevention for your pet.

Tick Prevention

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Ticks are becoming more and more prevalent in North America – but especially in Bedford (Shore Drive, Admiral’s Cove), Rocky Lake area, Eaglewood & Ridgevale in Bedford – and in many parts of Nova Scotia in general.  It is our understanding that Lunenburg county not only has seen Lyme disease positive ticks, but ticks carrying Erlichiosis as well!  And, while this disease is treatable in your dog – it is NOT daily treated in people.  In keeping with Sunnyview Animal Care’s family approach to veterinary care, we recommend all our clients increase their awareness of those diseases/disorders that are carried by ticks, and ensure you firmly enquire on your personal health concerns with your family physician if you have any suspicion of contacting/being bitten by a tick in the HRM, or Nova Scotia in general.

And they’re now being found in areas where people and pets didn’t previously encounter ticks. These parasites aren’t just a nuisance; they can cause serious—and sometimes deadly—diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis.

Keep ticks off your pet by keeping your dog or cat on a tick preventive – we generally recommend Advantix or Revolution for this purpose.  Flea & tick collars just DO NOT WORK. Even indoor-only pets an you are at risk because ticks can hitch a ride inside on your clothing or shoes. Tick preventives are safe and effective at controlling ticks and the diseases they carry. Call us to get your pet protected today!

Don’t panic if you find a tick on your dog or cat, even if your pet is on a preventive. Some preventives kill ticks after they’ve come in contact with your pet. Ticks can hide under your pet’s fur, so as an added measure of protection, we recommend checking your pet for ticks every time your pet comes in from outside. And don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you might have – HOWEVER, if you decide to remove a tick from your pet – please use a proper tick remover (such as a ‘Tick Twister’) and WEAR GLOVES yourself – it only takes incidental contact with a tick & if its carapace (shell) is compromised or broken – you can contract the above parasites yourself.  Its worth the time to find latex/barrier gloves!

If you feel that your pet or your family require a greater level of Lyme disease prevention – we can discuss the pros & Cons of Lyme Vaccination – please call or email us for a consultation today!

Contact us immediately if your pet starts coughing or has joint pain, trouble breathing, fever, weakness, or loss of appetite, weight, energy, or coordination.