Heartworm, Intestinal

Parasites, Fleas & Ticks 

Treatment & Prevention at Animal Hospital of Cambridge 

 Protecting your pets from warm weather parasites
isn't just about protecting your pets.
It's also about protecting your home and family!

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All dogs should be heartworm tested before starting preventive medication. A negative result means you can safely start your pet's oral or topical medication! Fleas and ticks are out during the spring, summer & fall months, so make sure all pets in the house have preventative protection. Book an appointment to discuss your pets risk assessment for seasonal parasites. We will help you decide on blood screening and provide options for prevention medication based on your pets lifestyle and potential risks.

And remember, any dog who goes outside can bring fleas inside and pass them on to an indoor cat. Be sure to use flea/tick prevention on your indoor cats to protect your house from becoming infested. Ticks become active at 4 degrees Celsius but can present at any degree and have 2 blooms - once in the early spring and again in the late fall. Ticks can infect both dogs and people with Lyme disease (as well as other tick borne diseases in the dog like Erlichia and Anaplasma).

For more information on Lyme Disease,  prevention and treatment in people click here to go to the Public Health Agency of Canada. This website has some great pictures of ticks and can answer a lot of questions you may have.

Visit www.dogsandticks.com to find out what the incidence of Lyme or Heartworm is in the areas you may live or travel to. Idexx keeps a rolling 5 year total, each year the numbers increase for both Heartworm positive and Lyme positive dogs. Keep in mind this count may in fact be higher due to the number of dogs who never get tested. 


Areas in Ontario Known to Have Lyme Positive Ticks:

  • Long Point Provincial Park on the northwest shore of Lake Erie
  • Turkey Point Provincial Park on the northwest shore of Lake Erie
  • Rondeau Provincial Park on the north shore of Lake Erie  
  • Point Pelee National Park on north shore of Lake Erie
  • Pinery Provincial Park on the southeast shore of Lake Huron
  • Rouge Valley/Rouge Park on east side of Greater Toronto Area
  • Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area on northeast shore of Lake Ontario
  • Wainfleet Bog Conservation Area on the Niagara Peninsula

Infected ticks are becoming more common in the Rainy River area of northwestern Ontario.

Blacklegged ticks spread to new areas of the province because of climate change and warmer winter temperatures. They can also spread by traveling on birds and deer.


Maps of Ontario Showing the Number of

Lyme & Heartworm Positive Dogs

lyme ontariolyme ontario 2017heartworm ontario




What can you do ?


Checking for ticks

Check your dog for ticks every day, especially during tick season: spring, summer and fall, or year-round in warmer climates. Brush your fingers through their fur applying enough pressure to feel any small bumps. Be sure to check between your dog’s toes, behind ears, under armpits and around the tail and head, too. If you do feel a bump, pull the fur apart to see what’s there.   For short coated dogs a lint roller can help remove any unattached ticks.   A tick that has embedded itself in your dog will vary in size, something from the size of a pinhead to a grape depending on how long its been attached. Ticks are usually black or dark brown in color but will turn a grayish-white after feeding in what’s referred to as an engorged state.


Use prevention mediation, either oral or topical to kill both fleas and ticks as soon as temperatures reach 4 degrees Celsius.  Ask us what product best suits your pets lifestyle needs.

 Have your dog vaccinated for Lyme disease to provide that extra level of protection. 

Removing ticks

Removing embedded ticks is a delicate operation because it’s easy for a piece of the tick to break off and remain in your dog’s skin if done improperly. Follow the removal steps below or consider bringing your dog to see us so we can safely perform the task and, possibly, show you how it’s done. Infection can occur after 24 hours, so if you find a tick on your dog, remove it right away.

  • Grasp the tick very close to the skin with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers.

  • With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Avoid crushing the tick to prevent infection.   It is important to try to remove the ticks head.  If you would like us to do it, please book an appointment.

  • After removal, clean your dog’s skin with soap and warm water and dispose of the tick.  Ticks can be brought into the clinic and  sent away for evaluation to see if they were carrying Lyme disease if you choose.

Using these steps can help ensure the successful removal of ticks. Never use petroleum jelly, a hot match, or other products to remove a tick. Doing so can  cause harm your dog and may cause an embedded tick to release more disease-carrying saliva. Also, if you do find ticks on your dog, your entire family could be at risk of exposure. You should take measures to keep everyone in your home safe.







                Don't take the risk. Ask us about your options today!


Please call our hospital if you have any questions: