Heartworm Testing for Dogs

Heartworm are a type of parasite that for dog can catch from being bitten by infected mosquitoes and others means. Getting an infection from heartworm can lead to serious health issues and can be life-threatening if left untreated. When this parasite reach adulthood, it can grow to a foot long and have the ability to block vessels and cause blood clots. Rest assured, our team of professionals are here for you and your furry friend, if you ever encounter a heartworm infestation.

What symptoms should I look for?

The majority of dogs that we see that have heartworm disease do not exhibit any symptoms at all. The disease is only discovered after performing a screening test. However, if symptoms are seen, the most common include coughing, difficulty breathing, reluctance to exercise, decrease in appetite and fatigue after moderate exercise. 

What are the treatment options for heartworms?

The actual treatment of heartworm disease is expensive and not without risk, which is why prevention is so highly recommended. However, if treatment if required, there are two options available.

1. Surgical extraction of the adult heartworms – where the worms are surgically removed from the heart

2. Medication – Special medications that kill the adult heartworm are administered. Steroids are taken orally to reduce the chances of unwanted side effects, and heartworm preventative to kill the juvenile heartworms and prevent further infection.

Why is recovery for heartworm treatment so challenging?

Prevention is key! There is an assortment of medications available that are used as heartworm prevention. From flavoured tablets to topical, we would be happy to discuss what would be the best option for your lifestyle and your pet. 

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