Parasite prevention: Year-round, no questions asked

By May 29, 2023 No Comments

Everybody thinks veterinarians’ primary job is to treat sick pets. That’s partly true, but, one of our biggest goals is preventing pets from getting sick in the first place.


Our veterinary team believes that the best way to look after pets is to provide proactive preventive care. This includes regular wellness checkups, vaccinations, feeding a good quality diet, and preventing debilitating infections by using regular preventative medications. Many parasites in London and southwestern Ontario do not disappear just because winter arrives, so year-round prevention is recommended to keep your pet healthy.


Intestinal parasites

Roundworms, hookwormswhipworms and tapeworms (including Fox tapeworm) can pose a year-round threat to dogs and cats in London and other areas of southwestern Ontario. These worms live in the intestines of infected pets and can cause diarrhea, vomiting, unexplained weight loss, and changes in appetite, especially in young pets and those with large numbers of worms. However, many adult cats and dogs with intestinal parasite infections don’t show signs of illness. Worms can also weaken a pet’s immune defenses, and some pose a health threat to their human family, especially children and people with chronic medical conditions.


Roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms can also infect people, potentially causing respiratory issues, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weight loss and in the case of Fox tapeworm, severe life-threatening liver disease.



Ticks can spread diseases such as Lyme disease. In southern Ontario we are used to ticks “disappearing” when it gets cold; however, this isn’t the case with Blacklegged ticks (Deer ticks). Deer ticks go dormant when their surrounding temperature falls below four degrees Celsius, and emerge from this resting phase anytime the temperature gets warmer. Since warmer microclimates (areas that may be warmer because of protection from wind, reflection of sunshine) do exist, we feel our patients are at risk of tick bites anytime the outdoor temperatures are above zero. Wide temperature fluctuation is the norm for London, Ontario winters so to keep our pets safe, we recommend year-round tick prevention.



Fleas are a no-questions-asked nuisance with many pets and people being allergic to them and getting rashes from just one or two bites. Fleas also give our pets tapeworms and can put humans at risk by transmitting infections like Bartonella henselae. Although fleas tend to disappear during cold weather, they survive very well indoors and we can transmit them between houses on our clothes.


Down with parasites! Up with prevention efforts!

Being proactive is the best way to help keep your pet and your entire family safe from fleas, ticks, and intestinal worms, and can cause serious, potentially lasting illness for dogs, cats, and people. That’s why we recommend parasite control for all patients year round.


Let’s discuss your pet’s personalized parasite prevention plan, or review our recommendations at your pet’s next checkup. There are many effective, affordable options for parasite control.

Eager to ensure protection? Call us today to make sure your pet is up-to-date on necessary parasite control medication or to order a refill.

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