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.


“Do I Really Need to Test for Heartworm?”

We often get asked, “Do I really still need to test for heartworm?” The answer is yes, and here is why. Despite Ontarian’s excellent yearly compliance with providing their dog’s heartworm preventatives, the source of infection remains. It is because of two reasons.

Every year dogs are being adopted and brought here from places like the U.S.A. and Cuba where heartworm is prevalent. It is estimated that Canadian’s adopt tens of thousands of dogs from around the world each year, which means we are also adopting the diseases that come with them (including heartworm).

Wildlife is hosts for heartworm infection as well and for obvious reasons do not receive preventative medications or treatments. It leaves our pets at continued risk of acquiring heartworm.

Heartworm Transmission (courtesy: American Heartworm Society)
Adult female heartworms living in an infected dog, fox, coyote, or wolf produce microscopic baby worms called microfilaria that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites and takes a blood meal from an infected animal, it picks up these baby worms, which develop and mature into “infective stage” larvae over 10 to 14 days. When the infected mosquito bites another dog, cat, or susceptible wild animal, the infective larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animal’s skin and enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite wound. Once inside a new host, it takes approximately six months for the larvae to develop into sexually mature adult heartworms.

Heartworm Testing
We recommend what is called a 4Dx Snap Test (run in-clinic or at the laboratory) to be performed each year. Using a small blood sample, it tests for the body’s response to heartworm as well as tick-borne diseases (including Lyme Disease) which if positive, indicates an infection. As the treatment for heartworm disease is different than the prevention, it is important that we rule out a heartworm infection before giving our dogs the monthly medication. While we have confidence in the products that we recommend, much like anything in life, there are no guarantees. We recommend yearly testing to ensure our dogs are safe. Instead of assuming the product has worked 100% and that clients have not given the medication late, missed or late doses, etc. If dogs are left untreated, heartworm infection can cause irreversible heart disease greatly shortening the life of your pet.

As with anything, we are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding heartworm testing and prevention.

Please feel free to call us at (613) 394-4811, or email us at info@hillcrestanimalhospital.ca.

Written by: Sarah Tremblay, RVT



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.

Last updated: Tuesday, May 19, 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 can now see all cases by appointment only.

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.

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