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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The Cuterebra Parasite

The ‘Other’ bug under the skin. In the summer months, we all worry about mosquitoes and black flies. Our dogs and cats have to worry about these insects as well as fleas and ticks. Recently we have been seeing a not-too-common parasite that gets under the skin of dogs and cats and can cause some big lumps. This parasite is called a Cuterebra and there is nothing cute about it. The cuterebra is the larval (baby) form of a fly called a Bot Fly. This fly lays eggs around the rabbit and small rodent burrows and if our dogs and cats go digging for these animals, the eggs stick to their skin. Once on the skin, the eggs hatch and burrow under the skin where they start to grow. When they reach a certain stage they need to breathe air so a hole is created in the skin and you can actually see the larva breathing under the pet’s skin.

As the larva gets bigger, the lump under the animal’s skin gets bigger as does the hole. When the larva has reached full size (about 2.5 cm) it falls out of the hole and completes its life cycle eventually forming a new Bot fly.

We see pets with these breathing holes and can remove the growing larva before it causes problems for the pets. These larvae are not contagious to other dogs or humans but are just ugly.

If you find your dog or cat has a new lump, it is best to get it checked and if there is a cuterebra larva inside, it can be removed before it causes many problems.

Written by: Dr. David Kerr, DVM

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The Cuterebra Parasite

The ‘Other’ bug under the skin.

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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 905-857-5057. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

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. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 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 over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

4. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Instead, we are taking payments over the phone.

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 roles. As such, we have taken 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 North Hill Animal Hospital