705-454-1664 info@gullrivervet.com
The 2023 flea and tick season is fast approaching!! Are you ready?

The 2023 flea and tick season is fast approaching!! Are you ready?

When it comes to protecting your pets, we at Gull River Veterinary always recommend prevention.

There are a variety of options for prevention from topical to oral treatments. We find the oral medication a favourite as it is given like a treat, and who doesn’t love treats? In our area we have seen a rise in ticks over the years and they are showing no signs of slowing down! Whenever the temperature reaches the zero mark its game time for those critters.

Do you live in a wooded area, or a place with lots of leaf litter, or around lots of tall grass? Those are a tick’s favourite place to hang out! Depending on your situation you may want to consider year-round treatment, but we always recommend starting as early March. The tick season runs from March/April to November, even December if its warm enough.

Out for a walk and your furry pal comes home with a tick latched on? Its always important to be careful when removing ticks, as squeezing them can actually release the disease they may carry. We are always around to pull those little guys off but a good thing to have at home would be a tick twister.

 Once that guy is off you can always bring it in to the clinic and the staff can help identify what kind of tick it is. There are many different kinds of ticks, and they can carry different tick-borne diseases. One in our area to watch for is the Blacklegged (Deer) Tick. This tick is a carrier of Lyme disease. Once your tick is identified there is then the discussion of having your pet in come back 4 weeks post bite to have a 4DX blood test. This test can detect for Lyme disease as well as Heartworm.

We recommend having a 4DX test done once a year to ensure that there is no Heartworm or Lyme disease at the beginning of the flea and tick season, before beginning your treatment. It also helps give you peace of mind if you are ever worried that a tick may have been missed.

What’s Heartworm? Well, this is a parasite that is transferred by mosquitos during the warmer months. Its life cycle is much longer so when we test for it, we are actually backtracking to the previous summer season. When thinking about your prevention keep Heartworm season in mind. This typically runs from June to November, but this can depend on when the mosquitos decide to come out. The clinic has had a Heartworm positive case in our area just last year. The treatment is long and the patient is recovering well, but will need to remain on Heartworm prevention year-round. There are some great options for prevention and if you’re a snow bird that likes to fly south for the winter with your pets, then it should be taken year-round. The southern states, especially Florida, have high cases for Heartworm.

With anything regarding your pet’s health, it is always important to ask questions. We at Gull River Veterinary are committed to quality care and are always there to help. Calling the clinic to speak with us is a great way to get your prevention started. 

– The Gull River Veterinary Team

Booking an annual visit is always a great way to speak with the staff and have a one-on-one with the doctor. There is always a discussion of flea and tick prevention and we are always willing to go over your options. We want to see you and your pet get outside and enjoy the nice weather, but we want to have your pets protected, because we know they mean the world to you.

Top Pet Dangers at Christmas

Top Pet Dangers at Christmas

Holiday Ornaments

Although they just look cute and festive to us, many decorations may just seem like fun new toys, or yummy new snacks to pets.  Decorations such as bubble lights and snow globes often contain harmful chemicals that are toxic if consumed. Glass ornaments will shatter and risk cutting paw pads or their esophagus if consumed. Homemade dough ornaments contain very high levels of salt which cause serious neurological abnormalities. Pets are also at risk for getting electrical burns from dangling strands of lights. Decorate accordingly and keep any potentially dangerous things up high where they are less likely to be accessed by your pet.


If you own a cat, toss the tinsel! It looks like a very fun shiny toy to your cat, but if ingested, it can result in what is called a ‘linear foreign body’. It can either wrap around the base of the tongue or anchor itself in the stomach, then while the rest tries to pass through the intestines, it slowly ‘saws’ through the tissues, resulting in severe, potentially life-threatening damage to the intestines resulting in a major abdominal surgery. Save your holiday bonus for yourself instead of your pet’s surgery, and keep tinsel, ribbon, yarn, thread, fabric, etc. out of reach!


Although they have a bad rap, Poinsettia plants are only mildly toxic. Far more worrisome are holiday bouquets containing lilies, holly, or mistletoe. Just one or 2 bites, or sometimes even just the pollen from lilies can results in acute kidney failure. Holly and mistletoe if ingested can cause injury to the mouth and intestinal tract from the spiny leaves, as well as other severe gastrointestinal side effects.


Most people know not to give alcoholic drinks to their pets; however, alcohol poisoning in pets is more common than you think. This is because alcohol can be found in surprising places! Rum-soaked fruitcake, or unbaked dough that contains yeast, result in alcohol poisoning and other problems. Rising dough will expand in the warm, moist environment of the stomach and can result in a bloat, which can then progress to a GDV (bloat or twisted stomach). Signs of this include vomiting, non-productive retching, distended stomach, an elevated heart rate, and weakness or collapse. Secondly, alcohol from the fermenting yeast is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and affects pets quickly. Ingestion of alcohol can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature. Intoxicated animals can experience seizures and respiratory failure.

Holiday Foods

With the holiday season comes a delightful variety of baked goods, chocolate confections and other rich, fattening foods. However, it is not wise, and in some cases, quite dangerous, to share these treats with your pets. Keep your pet on his or her regular diet over the holidays and do not let family and friends sneak in treats. Foods that can present problems include:

  • Foods containing grapes, raisins and currants (such as fruit cakes, breads and cookies) can result in kidney failure in dogs.
  • Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine, a chemical highly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion in small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea but large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmias.
  • Many sugarless gums and candies contain xylitol, a sweetener which is toxic to dogs. It causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure.
  • Leftover fatty, meat scraps can produce severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) leading to abdominal pain, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

When it comes to the holidays, the best thing a pet owner can do is to become educated on common indoor and outdoor household toxins and pet-proof your environment accordingly.

If you think your pet has been poisoned, contact your veterinarian or

Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680

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