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.

416.282.8516

Echinococcus multilocularis

While some species of tapeworms have been around Ontario for decades, there is, unfortunately, a new parasite that has migrated to Ontario in recent years. This tapeworm is causing concern as while its preferred host includes wolves and coyotes. It can also affect not only our household pets but humans as well.

The tapeworm is called Echinococcus multilocularis and with its long name comes a longer life cycle, with many players involved. First, the eggs are shed in the feces of wolves, coyotes, foxes or another wild canid. The eggs are then subsequently ingested by a small rodent, like a mouse or rat. The small rodent then develops a cyst in their body. A canid will then come along and eat the rodent (along with the parasitic cyst), and at that point, the tapeworm will mature and in turn shed eggs to be passed in the feces.

While this parasite might not sound like a concern to us as pet owners, unfortunately, there is more to it. There are two ways that our pets can be impacted by this parasite. The first is if our dog or cat eats an effected rodent, they can take the place of the canid and become a host for this parasite. They will then begin to shed eggs in their feces.

The second way our pets can be impacted is if they happen to eat an egg shed in feces. They will then take the place of the intermediate host, and the parasitic cyst will develop.

In humans, the cyst typically develops on the liver, causing hepatic failure. The time between ingesting the egg and the cyst becoming symptomatic is typically anywhere from 5-10 years, but once diagnosed, it has done irreversible damage to the liver.

It is important to limit contact with coyote, fox and wolf feces as best as possible to reduce transmission of this concerning parasite. If you have a dog that is known to eat unknown feces, regular deworming is recommended.

Written by: Zoe, RVT

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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, April 1, 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 416-282-6621 (appointments ONLY at this number). We will take a history of your pet from outside of your car, and 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 using social distancing methods. We will be taking payments over the phone, we are no longer taking cash at this time.

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 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 3:00 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 at 416-282-8516 to pick up your order, but do not enter the clinic. Our staff will take payment over the phone by VISA or Mastercard only. So we can ensure social distancing, we will then bring your order out to our green bin in the parking lot. We do have our online store available, which can be accessed from our website by clicking the online store button.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. VISA and Mastercard 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 West Hill Animal Clinic