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Heartworm Testing

Heartworms are very dangerous parasites for your pet. They are more commonly found in dogs, but sometimes they can infect cats as well. When your pet is bitten by a mosquito this can lead to future problems. Infected mosquitoes carry worm larvae and pass them on to your dog’s when they bite them. These worms mature inside your pet and grow up to a foot long, at which point they are able to affect blood vessels and cause blood clots. If your pet ever becomes infected with heartworms, our team is here to provide treatment, support and prevent it in the future.

What are signs that my pet has heartworms?

The best way to know if your pet has heartworms is to have them assessed by a veterinarian. The signs that you may notice can range from mild to severe. These signs rarely show until the infection is advanced which is why regular testing is key. Telltale signs to look for include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fainting
  • Persistent cough
  • Unwillingness to exercise
  • Heart failure

    What happens when my pet is tested for heartworms?

    To detect heartworms in your pet, a sample of their blood is taken. In the lab we look for the presence of heartworm proteins. Heartworms affect the heart, kidney, chest and liver. Therefore, in addition to the blood test, X-rays and ultrasounds may be performed to check for organ functionality.

    If my pet is on heartworm medication, do they need regular testing?

    Yes, regular testing is still needed even if your pet is on medication. Missed or late doses of heartworm medication can make your pet susceptible to heartworms. To schedule testing for your dog, call us at 403.936.4571.

    How can I protect my pet from heartworm?

    To give your pet the best fighting chance against heartworms, they should begin preventative treatment early. Heartworm vaccinations should be administered every 6 to 12 months. The preventative treatments are in the form of topical liquids, injections and tablets. It is much easier to prevent heartworms than to treat it. This way, you can prevent multiple injections, possible hospitalization, possible side effects to treatment and more expenses. This is why prevention is extremely important.

  • Very friendly and caring team. They followed up after vaccinations to our dogs. Will keep visiting them.

    E B

    Dr. Jakobsen is the best vet around! Has always been happy with the care and medical plans he has given…

    Elicia Mcneil

    Excellent DR. Excellent clinic. After having a rough go finding a decent vet after moving to the area , I'm…

    Raymond Mckenzie

    Best place for my 2 Jack Russells. The vets is so good with the boys and they are happy…

    Traci Ditchburn Hope