Dog Heartworm Test

Heartworm is a preventable but serious and potentially fatal parasite that primarily infects dogs, cats, and a variety of wild animals. Heartworms can only be transmitted from animal to animal by mosquitoes. The tiny larvae enter the pet’s bloodstream and migrate through to parts of the body where they start to grow into larger worms.

If a dog has heartworms, what symptoms should I look for?

In earlier stages, you may not even know your dog has been infected with heartworms as they are very, very small. As they grow, you may start to notice a mild, persistent cough, tiredness and a reluctance to exercise. Later stages include a more developed cough, trouble breathing, and even coughing up blood. If left untreated heartworm disease can be fatal.

How does a dog get heartworms?

Heartworms can only be transmitted from infected animal to animal by mosquitoes.

What are the treatment options for heartworms?

Routine heartworm testing is number one when it comes to prevention and treatment. It is essential to make sure your dog has not been infected with heartworm before going on any preventives. We have a variety of options for our patients depending on their needs. Usually, the preventatives are all given monthly from June-November. Many of them also prevent and treat intestinal parasites and fleas.

Why is recovery for heartworm treatment so challenging?

Without routine heartworm testing or prevention we won’t know if your pet is infected until symptoms appear. It can be costly to treat the adult form of heartworm, not to mention risky for the patient. Unfortunately, even with treatment, it will not be able to undo any damage created to the heart and lungs from the adult heartworm.


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