One of the best ways to provide your pet with the best possible quality of life is to source preventive vet care. Virgil Animal Hospital offers comprehensive preventive medicine and wellness checks to address, in advance, a wide range of veterinary concerns. In this way, you can take all possible steps to ensure the long-term health of your furry family members.
A straightforward means of optimizing your pet’s health is to help defend them against the many parasites which can cause severe, and even life-threatening, health concerns. Critters such as fleas, ticks, heartworms, and other external and internal parasites can induce severe issues for your pets’ both short and long-term health. The best way to handle these issues is through the provision of routine checkups, so as to identify issues before they develop and become serious problems.
Though sometimes pets will reveal to us if they are in pain or distress, they will often attempt to disguise these symptoms from their human caretakers. The value of an experienced veterinary team is that they have the knowledge and training to check for these common issues and determine from there whether there is a medical concern. Should your pet display unusual behaviours, such as lethargy, excessive hunger, or lack of appetite, call our clinic and book an appointment to address the concern.
Flea & Tick Control
Closeness with our pets is a beautiful thing; however, when it comes to your pets having flea and tick problems, it also means that there is an issue in your home. A thorough understanding of the tick and flea life cycles helps with handling these concerns, though gaining this knowledge can be an overwhelming process. Virgil Animal Hospital understands the strain caused by these external parasites and is happy to assist your family in managing such issues. Whether you are seeking high-functioning flea preventions, or even tick and flea treatments, our pet care team is ready to help.
Contact our office in the event that you notice your furry friend scratching in excess or chewing at themselves, or if they develop any of the following:
It is always best to promptly address any medical concerns so as to both provide treatment efficiently, as well as to prevent any long-term damage.
In order to ensure that your pet is as healthy as can be, especially during periods of pain or discomfort, an assessment is necessary to learn what is causing your pet’s situation. This is especially true when it comes to parasite management. With your pet’s best interests in mind, we always do everything possible to promote and maintain their health.
Internal Parasites in Cats
Different Types of Internal Parasites
There are numerous sorts of internal parasites that can pose issues for our feline friends, including nematodes (roundworms) and cestodes (tapeworms). Common examples of these pests are:
Toxascaris Leonina (known as intestinal roundworm)
Toxocara Cati (often referred to as feline roundworm)
Dirofilaria Immitis (often called dog heartworm)
Dipylidium Caninum (also known as flea tapeworm)
Taenia (genus of tapeworm originating from livestock)
Echinococcis (genus of tapeworm – often starts without symptoms)
Though this disease is infrequently found in cats, it is increasing in prevalence throughout certain parts of North America. Signs and symptoms of this issue are aspecific, though heartworm is known to induce coughing and quick breathing, sudden weight loss, and emesis; however, since these symptoms are often indicative of more common health problems, they do not definitively specify a heartworm issue. Sometimes heartworms will only be diagnosed post-mortem, noticed as a result of an autopsy, when these large worms, spanning between 6 and 14 inches, are found in the right ventricle of the heart and associated blood vessels.
For a cat to get tapeworms there must be a transitional host like a bird, rodent, or flea, since tapeworms are not directly transmittable between cats and dogs. The most frequently seen feline tapeworm, Dipylidium Caninum, causes issues like stomach troubles amongst adult cats, though can have more severe ramifications with kittens, such as stunted growth. Kittens can become infected with these parasites, mainly through the consumption of raw, wild food – an issue that can result in intestinal blockage given the presence of enough individual tapeworms.
While many other types of parasitic infections are uncommon amongst felines, the genus Ancylostoma is easily the most common intestinal parasite for the feline species. At roughly ½ to 1 inch in length, these critters adhere to the small intestinal lining and feed on blood. Due to this sanguine consumption, hookworms commonly cause severe cases of anemia (iron deficiency). This species’ larvae enter the feline host by either consumption or dermally, usually through the skin of the feet. Since this impacts the dermis, secondary infections at the site are common, as well as skin irritations such as eczema.
Internal Parasites in Dogs
Different Types of Canine Parasites
There are numerous different sorts of internal parasites which can be problematic to our canine companions, including:
These parasites are small in size and generally enter the system either via consumption or through the skin at the base of the paw. The trouble caused by these parasites is twofold. Often, canines will experience secondary infections at the site where the larvae entered the skin itself, resulting in dermal irritation, eczema, and inflammation. Additionally, since these critters latch to the inner lining of the small intestine and feed on blood, they can cause the common blood issue known as anemia or iron deficiency.
This type of parasite cannot be transmitted from canine to canine, meaning if your dog has this issue, it was brought via an intermediary agent such as a bird, rodent, or flea. The most prevalent tapeworm amongst canines is Dipylidium Caninum, causing some stomach trouble amongst adults, though posing more risk to puppies and younger dogs, often resulting in growth stunting amongst puppies. This species of parasite is transmitted via fleas, another important reason to pursue preventative care for your pets. Another common tapeworm pet is the Taenia species, which frequently infect adult canines though cause little issues. That said, if a puppy does become infected with this agent, provided there are sufficient tapeworms present in the system, intestinal blockages can result. Hosts that transmit this parasite include small mammalian critters such as rabbits or rodents.
Incredibly small in size, at roughly half a centimetre in length, whipworms are common parasites amongst canines in North America. They reside in the large intestine where they can result in troublesome digestive issues such as inflammation and irritation. Symptomology of this parasite is diarrhea, both chronic watery and bloody, as well as weight loss. If your canine presents with any of the above noted symptoms, contact your veterinary care team to address the issue as soon as possible.
Due to the method of transmission, this is a common issue amongst canines. These parasites move via infected eggs found in canine feces and thus are transmissible from canine to canine. In the event that a developing puppy is infected with this parasite, they can suffer numerous issues, including digestive upset which leads to gas forming in excess which causes them to look ‘pot-bellied’. If your puppy is displaying symptoms indicative of roundworm infection, contact your family’s veterinarian to promptly address the issue.
Common clinical indications of heartworm infection include issues such as fatigue and lethargy, coughing bouts, and general physical deterioration. Generally speaking, these parasites are quite large, reaching as much as 14 inches and found as small as 6 inches long. They take up residence in the right ventricle of the heart and leech into surrounding blood vessels. Since the results of these infections can be quite serious, it is important to seek veterinary assistance promptly if your canine companion displays any of the aforementioned symptoms.
Roundworms in Cats & Dogs
Easily the most common intestinal parasitic infection amongst both canines and felines, roundworms are a significant cause of illness and fatality amongst puppies and kittens. Averaging between 3 and 6 inches in length, these critters effectively swim freely inside the intestines of infected animals without ever attaching to the lining.
Clinical Signs of Roundworm Infection
Though this type of infection is not necessarily harmful to adult canines and felines, it can be seriously detrimental to the health of kittens and puppies. Common signs of infection include stomach distention, or a ‘pot-bellied’ appearance, as well as stomach discomfort, reduced appetite, emesis, diarrhea, and growth delays.
Transmission of Roundworms
This type of parasite is absorbed via ingestion after the canine or feline ingest eggs containing roundworm larvae. Generally, the eggs are found in fecal matter from dogs or cats with existing roundworm infections, though alternately they can be absorbed through the consumption of tissue from an infected host. Tissue from these hosts, known as paratenic hosts, when consumed, allows the roundworm to complete its life cycle and reach a state of maturity. The most common paranetic hosts are cockroaches, rodents, birds, and earthworms.
Thankfully, roundworm treatment is safe, straightforward, and cost-effective. After the administration of deworming, or anthelmintic medication, the dead, or dying, roundworms pass into the stool of the infected pet and are then excreted. None of the treatments administered kill roundworms in the larvae stage, so more than one treatment is required. Generally, the protocol is to issue three treatments at approximately two or three week intervals. In optimal circumstances, kittens and puppies are dewormed during their veterinary appointments, at the same time as they receive booster vaccinations. If you have an outdoor cat or dog, you may wish to administer anthelmintic doses periodically. Discuss your options, as well as other issues surrounding proper pet care, with your veterinarian professional during your next visit.
To issue a proper diagnosis, it is necessary to have your pet examined by a qualified and experienced veterinarian. The assessment itself begins by taking a look at your animal’s ears, eyes, and skin, as well as looking into other physiological systems including cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, and skeletal. From there, the vet will gain an understanding of whether or not there are any abnormalities. Additional testing includes urine and blood screenings in order to assess renal, hepatic, pancreatic, and general endocrine function, including the condition of the adrenal glands and the thyroid.
Depending on your pet’s situation, the veterinarian may suggest additional testing such as radiographs, endoscopies, ultrasounds, or biopsies. These tests provide a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare situation and allow the vet to take action to treat conditions and prevent worsening. Should you believe that your pet is displaying concerning behaviour, contact our clinic to schedule an appointment.
Wellness & Vaccinations
These programs are meant to prevent disease and maximize both the length and quality of your pets’ lives. It is always prudent, and cost efficient, to undergo preventative care as opposed to managing a disease once it has taken hold. For example, parvovirus, a common ailment amongst canines, has a treatment which is ten times the price of its associated vaccination. Through the Virgil Animal Hospital, you can gain quality preventative treatment for your pets, with our puppy wellness and kitten wellness programs.
By diagnosing illnesses early on, you take every step possible to offering them a healthy and happy life, since early intervention for many diseases leads to better results. To discuss your preventative treatment and vaccination options with an experienced and caring veterinarian, contact our clinic today.
As a proud new pup-parent, it is important to source reliable care for your new furry family member as soon as possible. Virgil Animal Hospital offers a comprehensive puppy wellness program, designed with a view of helping you begin your dog’s life on the right path to promote overall health and wellness. Since the first few months of puppyhood are so important to lifelong welfare, we created this program in order to make easy access to necessary tools and support to promote good behaviour and health. This program features advice relating to nutritional wellbeing, training, behavioural management, and help with socialization.
Our wellness program helps you stay ahead of a wide range of issues, including roundworms. In order to stay ahead of potential issues like parasites, it is important to treat puppies, thus ensuring their health and preventing zoonotic transmission to the rest of your family, humans included. When you address the concern with the puppy in a timely fashion, you prudently handle the concern for your entire household.
Additionally, when caring for a puppy it is important that you understand the necessity of vaccinations since until your puppy has received the necessary care, they are susceptible to numerous preventable, but serious, diseases. Early treatments include:
Virgil Animal Hospital is pleased to congratulate you on your new kitten, and we are honoured that you have chosen us to assist in caring for and protecting your new family member. The kitten wellness program brought forth by our clinic is meant to assist you in a wide range of early life matters, helping set up your kitten for a life of health and wellness. Since the first few months are so critical to lifelong health and wellness, it is important to begin care as early as possible. Our kitten wellness program provides you with the necessary support to promote manners and health, with advice related to nutrition, litterbox training, and promoting quality behavioural patterns.
Since some kittens have roundworms, issues which can induce loss of weight and an unhealthy appearance, it is necessary to treat the cat in order to prevent zoonotic transmission to the rest of your household, including its human members. Book your new kitten in for their first exam as soon as possible; since, until they have received the necessary set of vaccines, your cat is vulnerable to numerous preventable, though serious, diseases. We ensure that your pet is protected against a wide range of issues, including:
FeLV (feline leukemia)