Heartworm Testing

Heartworm testing detects harmful parasites that can wreak havoc on organs like the heart and lungs.

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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