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Deworming Protocols

Intestinal parasites have wormed their way into our pets. With more people adopting dogs from the US especially the southern states we expect to see the prevalence of heartworm positive cases in Nova Scotia increase.

Sometimes we have a hard time implementing a parasite control program for parasites that owners can’t see. The amount of tick prevention that is used has gone up dramatically mainly because ticks are in geographic areas they haven’t always been. There is a concern that because we are proactive with tick prevention, we are forgetting or paying less attention to intestinal parasites such as heartworm. We are here to tell you that this is not true.

Establishing an anti-parasite protocol is important because both internal and external parasites can pose a threat to our pets as well as ourselves. This protocol depends on where you live, your pets’ lifestyle and age. From this information, we can establish which products are right for your pet and if we would recommend a year-round program or just when they are more at risk.

We recommend protecting your pet year-round if they are:

  • Outdoor dogs
  • Hunting cats
  • Pets who go to daycare
  • Dogs who go to dog parks
  • Pets who are in areas where there are wildlife and mosquitos

Age plays a role as well, due to high rates of infection puppies and kittens are assumed to have intestinal worms. Young pets can be infected from their mother and the environment shortly after birth. They can be infected with certain types of worms even before they are born. Puppies and kittens have immature immune systems meaning that they are at a higher risk for contracting parasitic diseases. Which is why they receive multiple parasite treatments when they are young.

While climate, age, lifestyle and geography can make risks for parasites higher or lower no pet is safe. We strongly recommend that all pets regardless of lifestyle be on a deworming protocol. Give us a call to book an appointment.

Written by: Jane Corkum, DVM

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The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event.  It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof.  Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number.  It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin.  The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets.  Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it.  A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip.  With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info.  It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date.  If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information.  Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended.   Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT

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Last updated: March 22, 2022.

Dear Clients,

Our top priority here at Westwood Hills is the ongoing health and safety of our clients, their pets, and our dedicated team members that serve you and the community.

NEW: We kindly request that clients continue wearing facemasks during their visits to our hospital. Our staff will continue to wear masks, as they remain one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.
* *Facemasks are no longer mandatory in veterinary clinics (but still highly recommended) as per recent provincial guidelines.

Here is what you can expect during your next visit:

  • We ask that all clients keep their distance / practice social distancing.
  • Continue the use of debit / credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • For those interested we will still offer curbside pickup. Please place your food and medication order 48 hours in advance.
  • We are constantly analyzing our day to day actions and we appreciate your patience. We will continue to implement procedures that are in the best interest of both you, our clients and our staff.

    If you are not feeling well in any way, or if you have interacted with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 we ask that you stay isolated and do not visit us at the clinic. If your pet needs medical attention please have a family member or friend bring in your pet or pick up prescriptions / food.

    OPERATING HOURS

    Monday - Friday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Sunday: Closed

    NEW PET OWNERS

    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.

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

    - Your dedicated team at Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital