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The Health of Your Pet is Very Important to You

          At Golf Links Veterinary Hospital, it’s important to us too. Below you will find some helpful articles tailored to the health and well-being of your pet. While the information below is not inclusive of every pet issue, we hope we covered a few key areas of concern you may have regarding your pet. If you have further questions or concerns about your pet’s current health, please don’t hesitate to contact us to set up an appointment soon. 

Is Your Pet Getting Into the "Golden Years" ?

          The majority of pet owners are aware that dogs age faster than humans.  However, most do not realize how fast this aging occurs.  By the time a dog turns 7, they are equivalent to a 50 year old person. Degeneration of the most important organs such as the kidneys, heart, and liver begin at this age.  In addition, chronic diseases such as diabetes, Cushings and hypothyroidism are just some of the common problems that may develop. If your pet is in his senior years, we would recommend  a complete senior wellness assessment to keep him at his best. 

(Download the Senior Wellness Assessment Form - pdf format)

By offering a collection of blood tests and urinalysis, we can screen for many diseases EARLY in the course of the disease BEFORE your pet develops symptoms of illness.  While some age related illnesses may not be cured, many can be successfully managed, allowing for improved quality of life and increased life span.

Parasite Prevention

          Whether  you hate the thought of parasites infesting your home, worry about the discomfort they cause to your pet or diseases they may transmit to your family, we recommend a timely, broad spectrum parasite prevention program for all dogs.


  • Recent  research has shown that parasites living in the soil, such as roundworms, are not being killed by our winters and are infective as soon as the ground thaws.

  • Ticks have their first bloom in early spring and bloom again in late summer.

  • Mosquito transmission of heartworm begins in June and finishes late October.

  • Each year we see cases of flea infestations from spring into December.


          Many of these common parasites are preventable by using safe and effective medications.

          A broad spectrum parasite prevention program needs to extend from April to December.  Where fleas are particularly a problem or for people traveling south in the winter, year round prevention is recommended.

          For more information on these or any other parasite concerns, do not hesitate to contact us.

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Fleas are the most common canine skin parasite. Picking up just one flea while outside even in your own backyard can quickly lead to a disaster. Adult females are able to lay 100 eggs per day each and during an average life span will spread more than 1000 eggs around your house. These will hatch in about 2 weeks to begin the cycle again, re-infesting your pet and your home. Fleas can cause skin irritation and infection, trigger an allergic skin reaction, carry disease (such as tapeworms) or even result in anemia. Here, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.

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Intestinal Worms

Most commonly roundworms, the eggs and larvae of intestinal parasites are easily picked up by contact with contaminated soil or feces. Intestinal worms are frequently found in city parks as well as conservation and rural areas. Adult worms develop in the intestinal tract and rob your pet of optimal health by absorbing important nutrients. They may also cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, and weight loss. Furthermore, they are a potential source of infection for you and your family - often before you even know they are there.

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Heartworm is a serious, potentially fatal disease and every year several hundred heartworm cases are reported in southern Ontario. It is transmitted into your dog’s bloodstream by mosquitos carrying the larval stage of the worm. Mosquitos are not selective and are just as likely to bite outdoor dogs as your “mostly indoor” furry friend when out for their walk. Mosquitos also frequently enter our homes. Due to the seriousness of heartworm infection, we recommend prevention for all dogs. Once a dog is infected, the heartworm larvae travel to the heart where they grow into adult worms. Heartworm preventatives are monthly medications that only kill the early larval stages. If a larva survives due to missed doses of prevention, it will continue to develop and the dog will suffer from obstructive heart disease. Early detection through heartworm testing can improve the chances of surviving treatment. Dogs consistently using preventatives should be tested every other year at minimum.

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