Snelgrove Vet Services Spring Newsletter


Fleas, Ticks, Mosquitoes. OUCH!

What does warm weather, damp corners and dark shadows add up to? You guessed it. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Lucky us.

Unfortunately for our pets, both ticks and mosquitoes can carry potentially fatal diseases that can be passed on. Ticks for example, can carry Lyme disease and mosquitoes can carry heartworms.

So, how do we deal with these insects?  That’s where we come in.

There are some wonderful products available for our pets to make sure that these diseases aren’t transferred from said insect to your pet. We have both chewable and topical medications to help control insects on your pet. The topicals we carry produce what is called a ‘Hot-foot’ effect. When a tick, flea or mosquito touches your pet’s skin it causes a burning sensation on the bottom of the insect’s feet causing them to hop off of your pet and not even have a chance to feed. This medication is then distributed through their body and kills them.

The chewables work by traveling through your pets blood stream and when an insect feeds, it is automatically ingesting this medication causing them to die. Both products work exceptionally well at controlling fleas and ticks. With regards to heartworm, transferred by mosquitoes, you do need a different medication.

Blood testing is strongly encouraged yearly for tick-borne diseases and mandatory for heartworm prevention. Many tick-borne diseases can be treated with a short course of antibiotics if detected early. Commonly symptoms of tick-borne diseases appear vague and often go unnoticed for long periods of time. Often many pet owners don’t know their dog is suffering from a debilitating tick disease until it is too late.

Symptoms of progressive tick-borne diseases can include but are not limited to;

  • joint pain and inflammation
  • low-grade persistent fever
  • swelling at bite site
  • loss of appetite
  • spontaneous and shifting lameness
  • reluctant to move
  • fatigue
  • lethargy
  • weight loss, may or may not, include muscle wasting
  • depression
  • neck pain
  • neurological signs
  • bruising on gums or belly
  • nosebleed
  • discharge from eyes
  • vomiting
  • generalized weakness

Where do ticks live?

Ticks are typically found in forested areas and any overgrown areas including our own backyards. They don’t typically like sunny short-grassed areas but that’s not to say they can’t be there.

Keep your lawn and outdoor play areas safe. Keep shrubs and grass trimmed. Clean up any leaves or debris, especially underneath bushes. Limit shrubs and plants from areas your children and/or pets frequent. i.e. swing-sets, outdoor dining areas, etc. Keep areas around sheds and other buildings free of debris especially in shady areas.

For more information and a map of tick disease in our area visit

Many people already know that fleas can live in our households, but did you know, so can the brown dog tick? These ticks will live and reproduce in our houses just like fleas and typically need an exterminator to get rid of. Topical preventives and checking your pets skin will help prevent these pesky creatures from moving into your home. We have also seen an increase of Deer Ticks in the Brampton area. These ticks are the carriers of Lyme disease.

Walk-in blood testing is available for your pets that do not need to see a veterinarian for any other reason.


May 1st – May 31st

Mon. 9:00-12:00 2:00-8:00

Tues. 9:00-12:00 2:00-7:00

Wed. 9:00-12:00 2:00-8:00

Thurs. 9:00-12:00 2:00-7:00

Fri. 9:00-12:00 2:00-7:00

Please note: Walk-Ins are NOT available during 12:00-2:00 pm nor on Saturdays



Cats can also be tested and placed on preventative. Due to the life-cycle of Feline Heartworm, many cats may have the parasite without showing any symptoms. Consider treating any cats that go outdoors, travel to the USA and/or southern Ontario or that have a chronic cough or wheeze.


If you notice a tick on yourself, a family member or pet, please use extreme caution when removing it or ask a professional to remove it for you. Many times the head can be left in the skin if not done properly.

Here are some of the products that we carry;


























Meet Charley and his icky worm! (not for the faint at heart)


We all know that pets get parasites. It is talked about all the time. Roundworms, hookworms, heartworms, etc. But more recently we had a new worm to us. Although we know it is out there, it is rare to have an actual case.

Let’s start at the beginning though.

Meet Charley. A happy, go-lucky, black Labrador Retriever. At just 2 years of age, he has had a wonderful childhood. Doing all of the things labs like to do. Running, playing, swimming and eating everything off of the ground. Including dead fish, frogs and anything else he can put in his mouth. Typical Lab behaviour, right?

But in this case, he ate the wrong fish or frog!

Charley presented to us with what seemed liked an everyday bladder infection. Especially common in dogs that spend time in water. His observant owners noticed him drinking and peeing more frequently and that his urine seemed a bloody colour. Urine testing was done which showed a large number of white and red blood cells. Consistent with a bladder infection. Charley was placed on antibiotics with a re-check booked for 10 days afterwards to make sure it had completely cleared up. At that time, a repeat urinalysis was run and although the infection seemed to have cleared up, he still had bloody urine. At this point, we x-rayed Charley to see if he perhaps had bladder stones. This would be rare in a dog so young. The x-rays revealed no abnormalities!

Hmm? So what was causing Charley’s bloody urine? Charley’s owners opted to be referred to a specialist.

At the specialist’s office, they performed an ultrasound and low-and-behold the culprit was found. A Dioctophyme renale otherwise known as the  Giant Kidney Worm!! Unfortunately for Charley, the treatment for this is to remove the affected kidney. Charley underwent surgery and is recovering slowly. Life with one kidney should not cause any further problems. But as for Charley, no more fish for him!


Kidney worm 2





One bite, it’s all it takes!

Ticks and mosquitoes

Spring has typically always been the time of year that we talk to our clients about the importance of putting their pets on a heartworm prevention. One bite from an infected mosquito is all it takes to transmit these tiny, microscopic parasites that can grow up to 12 inches long!

Now the issue is, we know that not only do mosquitoes transmit heartworm to pets, but, we also have ticks in Brampton. They can transmit Lyme disease, Erlichiosis [ur-lik-ee-oh-sis] , Anaplasmosis [an-uh-plaz-moh-sis] and Babesiosis [bab-bee-z-oh-sis].

So, the big question is, what can we do about it?

Well, lets face facts, these little bugs are not going away.

So, how do we prevent our pet from getting these diseases/parasites?

Testing, due diligence and prevention. Testing can tell us if your pet has already been exposed. We can then, if necessary, start appropriate treatment regiments. Hopefully prior to any permanent damage being done. Due diligence, check your pet head to tail for any small lumps which may be an attached tick. Prevention, there are many products available that help prevent our pets from getting bitten by these dangerous bugs. Just give your veterinarian a call and they can go over all options with you.

Remember to also keep yourself safe. Although mosquitoes don’t infect humans with heartworm, ticks can transmit all of these diseases to us as well. Check yourself for ticks as well. If you suspect you have been bitten by a tick or see a tick attached to yourself, contact your health care provider immediately.

For more information, click on the links below;


As always, thanks for reading:)

The staff at Snelgrove Veterinary Services





Protecting Our Feline Friends!

Spring and summer time are often synonymous with dogs and heartworm prevention. But what about our feline friends – did you know that they can be affected by internal and external parasites as well? 

This time of year, worms and other parasites are more easily transmittable and cats are just as susceptible as dogs

Whether your cat is strictly indoors, or if they spend some time outside as well, there are many ways that they can contract these pesky little parasites, which can wreak havoc on their skin, intestinal tract and more. Some are even transmittable to humans!

The most common parasites that we deal with here at Snelgrove Vet Services are:


Fleas are probably the most easily identifiable parasite that you can find on your cat. If your cat goes outside, they can come into contact with fleas if they visit an area where another animal with fleas has been. If your cat stays indoors, fleas can also make their way inside by hitching a ride on the back of another pet and then jumping onto yours. In any case, fleas are not something that most people enjoy dealing with, as treatment involves both your animals and your home. Luckily, only animals can be hosts to fleas, not humans.

Ear Mites

Ear mites are much harder to spot, although not impossible, since they are so tiny. They typically live within the ear canal, but can also be found on the surface of the skin. They present as a dark, crusty discharge seen in or around the ear, with your cat shaking its head and scratching excessively at the affected area. Ear mites can be passed through direct contact, although again, they cannot live on humans, only animals.


Tapeworms are a type of internal parasite that are ingested and then attach themselves to the wall of the small intestine of your cat. Once the tapeworm becomes an adult, they can also travel to the stomach. Segments of the tapeworm can sometimes break off and be spotted in the stool (they look like bits of white rice), or if the infestation is large enough, your cat may vomit them up. Most often, your cat will become infected with tapeworms from eating mice or being bitten by fleas. These nasty little creatures can also be transmitted to humans. Yuck!


Roundworms are another type of internal parasite. While they can infect your cat at any age, they are most harmful to kittens and senior cats. Clinical signs include a distended abdomen, vomiting and/or diarrhea, as well as a decreased appetite. Again, this is a type of worm that is transmitted through ingestion – either from eating a smaller host (like a mouse or bird), picking it up off of the ground after walking through an area where infected stool has been, or even through the milk from the kitten’s mother. Roundworms also pose a risk to humans, especially young children.

Luckily, we have an arsenal of tablets and topical medications in our pharmacy that can combat these unwanted visitors!

Of course, prevention is always preferred to treatment

The doctors here at Snelgrove Vet recommend a monthly dose of either a tablet dewormer called Milbemax and/or a liquid medication applied directly to the skin called Advantage Multi. Contact our office today to learn more or if you suspect that your feline friend may be affected by parasites. We are always here to help!

For additional information on these, and other, parasites, visit the Pet Health section on our website – it has loads of great articles, all written by veterinary professionals.

Heartworm and your pet

It’s that time of year again. Mosquitoes are starting to hatch and soon will be maturing and starting to bite. Some mosquitoes carry the deadly heartworm and can pass it on to your pet when they to feed. Heartworm is a very easy parasite to prevent but extremely risky to treat.

A once-monthly chewable treat or  topical liquid started on June 1st until November 1st will prevent heartworm from developing in your pet’s bloodstream. This month, Snelgrove Veterinary Services, offers walk-in heartworm testing for those pets needing a blood test.

walk-in hw










Don’t know if your pet needs a blood test or want more information about heartworm, just click on this link :

Snelgrove Vet Services Heartworm information

Thanks for reading 🙂


Spring 2015

charlie 001 There’s a new product available in Canada this year  which the staff at Snelgrove Vet Services is quite  excited about. With the current influx of ticks in the  Brampton and Caledon area, Nexgard has finally  come to the Canadian market. Approved by Health  Canada to kill Blacklegged ticks (deer ticks),  American Dog ticks and the Lone  star tick. It also kills Brown Dog ticks. These are all known carriers of diseases such as, Lyme disease,  Ehrlichia and Anaplasma.  But, not only does  Nexgard kill ticks, it also kills fleas all month-long.

Pretty cool, right?

We thought so. But what’s really cool about Nexgard? For people or pets who don’t like topical flea and tick killers, its an oral beef-flavoured chew. And yes, it’s beef ‘flavoured’, so for those pets that may have a beef allergy, Nexgard is still safe to give. Given monthly it is proven to keep killing both fleas and ticks for the full 30 days.

Nexgard is also safe to use if you have cats in the house and is approved for dogs as young as 8 weeks of age.

The best thing about Nexgard, now we have choices. In a market dominated by topical products, it’s nice to have another option. Ask your vet what flea and tick prevention you should use on your pets this year.

Thanks for reading.


Top 10 Myths from your vet in Brampton


Snelgrove Veterinary Services shares with you the

top 10 myths we hear in practice.


  1. Garlic keeps fleas away! Not only is there no scientific proof that garlic will rid or keep away those pesky bugs but it can actually be toxic to pets. Garlic is a part of the Allum family which contains onions, leeks and chives. All of these even in small quantities can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and a slew of other problems. Speak to your veterinarian about other proven ways to treat your pet of fleas and how to avoid getting them in the first place.
  2. Pets should have one litter or heat prior to being spayed! Waiting until their first heat or having a litter can actually aid in the development of mammary tumors and ovarian or uterine cancer.
  3. Cats need milk and/or tuna! Cats actually don’t have the enzyme needed to digest the lactose found in milk. Just like in people it can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea. Tuna is high in minerals and in excess can cause all sorts of problems. Be sure to only give it in small amounts and infrequently.
  4. Dogs mouths are cleaner than humans! Really? Have you ever seen what they put in their mouths? Well we have, and it’s not good. Dogs and cats actually have different natural bacteria in their mouth than humans so although harmless to us, it’s still bacteria.
  5. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks! Of course you can, it just might take a little longer. In fact teaching new things helps keep their mind active and its great bonding time. Just remember to keep it fun, short and nothing too strenuous!
  6. My dog only goes in the backyard so it doesn’t need heartworm protection! Why? Are there no mosquitoes where you live? If so, I want to live there. LOL. Mosquitoes are in fact everywhere and they can carry heartworm larvae all over the globe.
  7. Licking wounds is healing! It can be to a certain extent. This is more because they are cleaning the bacteria off of it and removing the dead skin BUT it can actually cause worse problems. Excessive licking can actually impede healing and can become habitual cause more damage to the area. Always clean wounds and prevent your pet from licking the area. Seek medical help as needed.
  8. Corn is bad! Well, we love corn. Corn on the cob on a BBQ with melted butter and salt. Yum. Yum. But we’re talking about pets here. Corn is actually a great source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, amino acids and even contains anti-oxidants. It is not a filler for pet foods but actually a valued ingredient.
  9. My cat stays strictly indoors so it doesn’t need vaccines or yearly physicals! Even indoor cats get sick. Having an annual physical examination can discover all sorts of minor ailments that over time can become more severe. Rabies is mandatory by law. Just read our bat blog to see why!
  10. By-products are bad! 1st off, what they can be: lungs, spleen, liver, kidneys. What they can’t be: feathers, hide, intestinal contents, hooves and hair. 2nd, excellent source of protein and amino acids. 3rd, did you know Jello, gummy bears, chewy fruit snacks, marshmallows, bouillon cubes, bologna, hot dogs and commercial soup stock  can be made from by-products!