Heartworm Testing for Pets

Regular testing to detect and treat heartworms before they cause irreparable damage.

Heartworms are internal parasites that can cause fatality. Dogs are better hosts for these worms, so they are more likely to be infected. Even though the disease cannot spread from one pet to the other, it is fairly easy for your loyal companion to become infected with heartworms. The best way to protect them is to administer preventatives throughout the year and get them vaccinated every 6-12 months. While your cat or dog is on preventives, they should be tested twice each year for heartworms.

How do cats/dogs get heartworms?

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito bites your cat or dog, they pass on worm eggs. These eggs will mature and produce offspring while living inside your canine or feline pet. Heartworms can survive inside your loyal companion for months without any sign of infection. The worms can grow up to 12-inches long reaching different organs. Heartworms are known to live inside the heart where they can cause damage.

What are the symptoms of heartworm disease?

As mentioned before, there aren't always signs in the beginning. In cats, heartworms cause breathing problems which can often be mistaken for respiratory illnesses. To keep your loyal companion protected, they should be dewormed and tested regularly. Here are some symptoms associated with heartworm disease:

  1. Dry persistent cough
  2. Swollen abdomen
  3. Decreased appetite
  4. Reluctance to exercise
  5. Weight loss

Call our team immediately at 705-325-4224 if your cat or dog is experiencing these symptoms.

How are heartworms treated?

Only dogs have an approved treatment for heartworm disease. For cats' medication can be provided to manage their symptoms and in extreme cases, surgery may be recommended to remove the worms. Treating heartworms for canine companions can be lengthy. The veterinarian will create a treatment plan that first stabilizes your dog and then flushes out the worms. They may be given antibiotics and injectable medications during the treatment. While being treated, your dog must not be allowed to do any physical activity for 30 days after their first dose of treatment. Nine months after their treatment, your dog should be tested again for heartworms and be put on a preventative medication.

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