Golden dog walking on beach while on leash

Pet Heartworm Testing

As you may already know, heartworm is prevalent here in our province. Heartworms are a type of parasite spread through mosquitoes. They are potentially fatal because they affect the blood vessels in the lungs and the heart. Although it is more common for dogs to be a host for heartworm, it can also infect cats and wildlife living in your surrounding area, and even pets who spend most of their time indoors. (In fact, heartworm and other parasites like fleas can find their way into your house or high-rise unit through your shoes, clothing and other small animals.)

What are the symptoms of heartworms in a dog?

The challenge with heartworm is that in the early stages of infection, there are no symptoms. This is why we recommend that your pet undergoes annual testing, at the very minimum. Only through a full exam are we able to detect the presence of heartworm. Symptoms of advanced heartworm disease may include:

  • Exercise intolerance
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing (including coughing up blood)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • What are the treatment options for heartworm?

    The best course of action against heartworm is to make sure that your pet is taking monthly preventative medications. This is important especially during the spring and summer seasons, when your pet is spending more time outside. That being said, pets should be taking preventative medication all year round. If your pet is infected with heartworm, the treatment can be costly and potentially risky. The most complete and rapid removal of heartworms from the chest is accomplished by a series of powerful infections to kill the adult parasites.

    If you have any questions or feel your pet may need a heartworm test, please give us a call at 613.634.2440.


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    Last updated: December 14, 2021

    Dear Clients,

    Due to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in our region, we are temporarily moving back to curbside service. Clients needing to pick up food or medications can do so inside. We ask that you kindly wear a mask during your interactions with our team.


    This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!



    We are OPEN with the following hours:

    Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 am

    Saturday & Sunday: Closed


    Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at Downtown Animal Hospital