Heartworm Season is Here!
Every spring the reminder cards go out and responsible pet owners bring their dogs & cats to their veterinarian. We often then hear ‘but I didn’t think my pet was due for vaccines until later in the year?’. Annual wellness & heartworm testing is not the annual physical exam & vaccinations. It is a series of tests performed on blood and urine samples.
Wellness testing allows your veterinarian to catch problems early, before your pet even starts to tell you there may be something wrong. It is an essential tool for good preventative medicine practices and can help you avoid large veterinary costs down the road. While wellness testing can be done at any time in the year, many pet owners prefer to combine this with the Heartworm testing as the necessary tests can all be run off the same blood sample, saving you both time & money.
Most veterinary clinics recommend annual heartworm testing. It is typically done the spring of each year starting in March and finishing June 1st. Heartworm preventative medicines are then used for 6 months of the year from June 1st to November 1st. This recommendation follows the life cycle of the heartworm and its necessary counter part, the mosquito.
Heartworm is spread through mosquito bites. When a female mosquito bites an infected pet the microfilaria (heartworm offspring) are ingested. The young then develop over the next 10-30 days. Once developed they re-enter the mouth parts of the mosquito where they are transmitted to the next pet that the mosquito feeds from. Once in the bloodstream of the pet they move to the heart and surrounding blood vessels. There they reach maturity over 2-3 months and start reproducing, thus completing the life cycle.
In 2007 there were 219* positive heartworm results, with 55 of those being in our area. While it may seem small in terms of the thousands of pets in ownership, it is a growing number and of course can not represent the many dogs & cats that do not get tested.
Annual Heartworm & Wellness testing brings you one step closer to providing a complete preventative care program for your beloved companion. We hope to see you & your pet this spring and for many years to come.
*results from Vita-Tech Labs and do not represent all labs in Ontario
Meet the Staff!
This Month: Amanda Watkins
Amanda has worked at McCleary Animal Hospital since 2007. She works in the back & kennels caring for the animals that stay with us, but also assists with reception & technician duties. She enjoys the reward of nursing the patients back to health & the variety of cases that working at a clinic exposes you to.
Amanda graduated from Northern College in 2001 with a certificate in the veterinary assistant program. She has worked in the veterinary field since she was in high school. Having grown up around animals on the family farms, pursuing the veterinary field was an easy choice.
Amanda originally hails from Cobourg Ontario about 2 ½ hours east of Mississauga. She is often found there on weekends and holidays spending time with family & friends. Amanda’s’ cat Rudie has accompanied her here to Mississauga and is enjoying his city life. They have been together since her college years as he was formerly one of the courses ‘practice’ cats. He now can be most often found sleeping on the couch.
In her spare time you can find Amanda at the movies, reading, writing and in the company of her family& friends. She is a supporter & member of the Ontario Steam and Antique Preservers Association; a family tradition since 1967, in which they continue to restore and collect antique tractors. Recent months have seen Amanda become an Aunt to nephew Landon and representative to A.C.N. telecommunications.
3rd Annual Open House
The date has been set for our 3rd Annual Open House! Be sure to mark June 6thoff on your calendars. The day’s events are starting to unfold and we will again be running in conjunction with the Clarkson Village annual festival. Last year our raffle was a great success to help raise money for our charities (The Farley Foundation, The OVC Pet Trust Fund, Bullies In Need & The Oakville Humane Society). If you would like to contribute a prize for this years raffle please drop us a line at the clinic and ask to speak to event coordinator Lizz Wilson.
Please tear off this portion and place on your fridge to remind you that your pet is due for their annual wellness & heartworm testing. Heartworm prevention starts June 1st, so call and book your appointment today!