We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.


Parasites and your puppy

Ticks & Lyme Disease

Ticks are parasites that feed on blood.  They like to wait in long grass and wooded areas waiting for you or your pet to walk by.  When a host gets close enough the tick grabs on to the fur and begins her task of finding the perfect spot to feed.  Ticks often choose the face, ears or between the pads of the paws.


  1. The tick needs to feed from 24 to 48 hours before passing the (bacteria that causes Lyme Disease on to your dog.
  2. Ticks are most active in the spring and fall.  The ideal temperature for a tick is 4 – 10 degrees.  They are out in the summer but tend to stay in shaded areas.
  3. If your dog is at risk of Lyme Disease, so are you.  Be aware when out for a walk in wooded areas.


We recommend putting your dog on a Flea/Tick prevention 9 – 12 months of the year (depending on the weather).  There are many products available,  your veterinarian will make a recommendation as to what will work best for your pet’s lifestyle.

Lyme Disease

Dogs affected with Lyme Disease may have shifting lameness that is often accompanied by a fever.  Shifting lameness means painful joints that may be a front leg this week, then switch to a back leg the following week.  It can also, in rare cases cause kidney failure so we recommend watching for an increase in drinking and peeing.

I found a tick on my dog!

1. Call us

We can teach you how to safely remove the tick.

2. Test for Lyme Disease

If the tick was on for more than 24 hours and your pet is not on prevention, we should do a test for Lyme disease.  This needs to be performed 6 weeks after you found the tick.


Other Common Parasites


Fleas will live on your dog and feed every 5 minutes.  As you can imagine being bitten so very often is quite uncomfortable for your pet.  Signs of fleas can be itching, skin issues, poor coat, and in young pets we have seen anemia (not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen).

Intestinal Worms

Intestinal worms live in the bowel or intestines of the pet.  Some worms will take the nourishment your pet is supposed to be getting from their food and others will feed on  blood from your pet.  Puppies are often born with worms, as they are passed in their mothers’ milk.  Dogs can also get intestinal worms from sniffing other dogs stool on the ground, eating rodents and soil that has been contaminated by other infected animals.  Your puppy will be dewormed multiple times to ensure they are clear of parasites.


Heartworms are large worms that live in a dog’s heart, impeding the blood flow.  When the dog has these parasites the heart has to work much harder to do its job, thereby causing heart failure over time.  Heartworms are spread when a mosquito bites an infected dog, takes a blood meal and then bites another dog spreading the parasite.

Some think heartworms are not in this area but sadly this is untrue.  We will never be able to eradicate heartworm as wild Canines such as coyotes, foxes and wolves can also be carriers.

Heartworm is much more prevalent in the southern states such as Florida.  Further concern comes when unprotected dogs are travelling out of cold Canada for the winter and bringing it back.  We also worry about rescue dogs that are brought to Canada as they do not need to be tested before import.

All these parasites are treatable, but even better, we can prevent them with a simple once a month medication that we will discuss and recommend over your next few puppy appointments.


What you need to know about kitten vaccinations

Kittens will get vaccinations at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks, then annually. Overview A vaccine is a substance created to incite an immune response for a particular disease.  It needs to be given multiple times to a kitten to initiate his immune system. 

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a "closed-waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 613-394-4811. We will bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. The veterinarian will then call you to discuss our recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a technician will return your pet to your car and take care of any needed medications and payment.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets only. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday: Closed.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 5-7 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive at 613-394-4811 to pick up your order, but do not enter the clinic. We do have our online store available, which can be accessed from our website by clicking the online store button.

5. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

6. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Hillcrest Animal Hospital