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.

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Dog Heartworm Test

Heartworm disease is present throughout North America and is not just a disease that affects dogs who spend a great deal of time outdoors. Heartworm can affect any dog of any age and size from a Chihuahua to a Great Dane – it only takes one infected mosquito to transmit the disease!! Prevention is the best way to protect your dog from heartworm – help your dog remain heartworm free. Ask us how we can work together to keep this disease under control and reduce the risk for your canine companion.

What are the symptoms of heartworm disease?

For dogs affected by heartworm, there are initially no clinical signs seen, and they can act completely normal. As the heartworm progresses, respiratory symptoms (coughing, having trouble breathing, tiring more quickly after exercise) are the most common to see. Nosebleeds can occur, and if the disease progresses, the affected dog can develop heart failure.

How do dogs get heartworm?

Heartworm is a parasite that is passed through mosquitoes when the weather is consistently over 14°C. A mosquito bites an infected dog and passes a baby (larva) heartworm to the next dog that they bite. These baby heartworms can grow into adult worms, which live in the heart and the arteries around the heart. The adult heartworms can reproduce, and continue increasing the number of worms in the affected animal.

How do we diagnose heartworm disease?

Heartworm is typically identified with a blood test, which tests for the presence of any adult heartworm in the bloodstream. Since it takes about six months for baby heartworm to develop into adult heartworm, we do this blood test six months after the last possible exposure to heartworm in the season. In London, our last possible heartworm exposure is typically in October, so we test the following spring (April or May), as this is six months after the last exposure from the year before.

What are the treatment options for heartworm disease?

Prevention options are available from all veterinary clinics. These are given once a month for the heartworm season, and work to kill off any baby heartworm before they develop into adult heartworm. They are available in tablets or chews taken by mouth, or liquids applied to the skin at the base of the neck. For London, our prevention is given from June-November. Each treatment works to kill off any heartworm exposure from the month before (so we are protecting from May-October) as this is the season that can have weather over 14°C consistently. If our clients are travelling to Florida or other southern locations in the winter, heartworm prevention is recommended year round, as the warmer weather permits heartworm to be passed all year. If heartworm progresses from the baby heartworm stage into an adult heartworm infection, this can be treated. It involves a 12-month protocol of medications and strict rest to clear the adult heartworm from the body. Unfortunately, even with treatment, it will not be able to undo any damage created to the heart and lungs from the adult heartworm – which is why prevention options are preferred.

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Christmas Hazards for Pets

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year. However, it can also come with some serious and potentially lethal dangers to our pets. 

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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 519-453-2940. We will take a history of your pet over the phone, and bring your pet into the hospital for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, the veterinarian will call you to discuss the details. We will then return your pet to your vehicle and payment can be processed over the phone (using a credit card).

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm and Saturday from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 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 to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment from your vehicle. We do have our online available, which can be accessed from our website by clicking the Online Store button. There is free delivery for orders over $100.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit and debit card payments are still available.

6. 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.

7. 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 Fairmont Animal Hospital