Just the facts- Heartworm, Tick and Flea

Heartworm Facts

  • 75% of dogs that test positive for heartworm live in Ontario!
  • The American Heartworm Society advocates that heartworm testing should be performed ANNUALLY, particularly with reports that between 2002 and 2012 the presence of heartworm infection in Ontario increased by 60%.  Secondly, like “super-bugs” the heartworm parasite may become resistant to some heartworm medications.
  • Heartworm is mosquito-transmitted and therefore pets need to receive prevention once monthly from June to November OR year-round if travelling to the Southern States or Caribbean.
  • It only takes 1 bite from an infected mosquito to spread heartworm disease to a dog or cat, and guess what….heartworm has been occasionally detected and reported in humans!
  • Pets with heartworm disease may display exercise fatigue, coughing and respiratory disease.

Tick Facts

  • In 2014, there were 1,316 positive cases of Lyme disease reported in Ontario as documented by IDEXX laboratories.  This represented a 53% increase from the 859 cases reported in 2013.
  • This presents a public health concern because we live in close proximity with our furry babies, most of which frequent woody areas, parks and fields with taller grass.
  • Ticks can also transmit other awful disease-causing parasites such as Anaplasma and Ehrlichia.
  • Every year we are observing more of our patients with ticks that haVe been picked up in the heart of Newmarket, Sharon, Aurora, Holland Landing and neighbouring areas.

Flea Facts

  • Fleas represent everyone’s nightmare.  They are prolific – an adult female will lay up to 2000 eggs over it’s lifetime (which is only approximately one month!!!), and they spread from one pet to another (dogs and cats) like wildfire!

Heartworm, tick and flea infestation can be PREVENTED with one or a

combination of easy treatment protocols. 

At the Armitage Animal Clinic, Dr. Leslie Williams and her knowledgeable team strongly recommend testing to screen for tick-borne and heartworm disease.  This is performed as a combined Tick/Heartworm test with one simple blood sample.


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