Parasite Prevention

As the summer is fast approaching, our furry companions are excited to get outdoors and stretch their legs. Of course, as pet owners we worry about protecting our animals against parasites like ticks and fleas that can hop onto your pet; but what about internal parasites? Unlike ticks and fleas, internal parasites are ones that live inside your pet and some can even be passed on to us. They can be contracted as easily as touching infected soil or getting bit by a mosquito.

One common internal parasite found in cats and dogs is roundworm. They are white and brown worms, about a few inches long, almost resembling the appearance of spaghetti. They can be transmitted from touching infected soil, from their mother’s milk, or from the ingestion of a rodent or another animals feces. After the parasite has been transmitted to our pets, it works its way into the intestines where if left untreated, can cause intestinal obstruction.

If your pet has fleas, there is a good chance they might also have contracted an internal parasite. Fleas can be a problem on their own, but they can also transmit tapeworm larvae and once on our pets, if ingested, they can begin to grow. Adult tapeworm are white flat worms that can range from 4-30 inches in size, made up of many different segments. As the parasite grows, some segments dry out and fall off the tapeworm and can be seen in the animal’s feces or around their bedding, looking like pieces of rice. Vomiting or weight loss may occur in a pet that has a large tapeworm infestation however this can be detected through a fecal sample.

What was once thought to not be a problem in Canada, Heartworm is now becoming a growing concern for us pet owners.  Transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, it can take 5 to 7 months before your animal may start to show any signs. “Baby” heartworm circulated through the blood stream and can cause damage to the lungs, and liver whereas adult heartworm clogs major vessels of the heart, causing congestive heart failure.

These are just a few of the internal parasites that your pet may be at risk for this summer. They key to making sure our pets stay safe from internal parasites is regular deworming all year round.  It is important to speak with your veterinarian about your pet’s lifestyle, and what method of prevention would be best for them to make sure they are fully protected inside and out.

Written by: Nikki Giles CCS


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Last updated: April 18, 2022

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we can continue providing our full range of services, under certain restrictions. Masks are mandatory for everyone coming inside our hospital. Maximum of 2 clients allowed into our exams rooms per appointment (there's not much room in there!)

Please note that it will take at least 24 hours for all prescription and food items to be ready for pick up (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".

Unfortunately, our bathroom is still closed to the public as it is in our radiology room.


If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.


We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday & Tuesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

We are committed to providing a safe and respectful workplace. Abusive conduct or communications will not be tolerated and may result in denial of services.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Harbour Cities Veterinary Hospital