Heartworm Testing for Pets
Did you know heartworms can live in your pet’s hearts and lungs for years without them showing any symptoms? Eventually, if undetected for too long, heartworms can reproduce at a fatal rate. This is why we highly recommend getting your pet tested for heartworms at every appointment. The earlier they are detected, the sooner we can treat your pet and remove them from their system. Call us at 905.597.7373 to book an appointment.
How can heartworms harm my pet’s health?
Heartworms are parasites that live in your pet’s blood stream. They’re carried by mosquitoes, which means your pet is vulnerable every summer. A buildup of heartworms can cause blood clots and long term organ damage, such as heart disease, lung failure and (for cats) respiratory issues.
How do you test for heartworms?
Every time we do blood work, we’re looking for signs of parasites. We know your pet has heartworms when antigens or microfilariae are found in your pet’s blood sample. Antigens are a protein produced by female heartworms and microfilariae are the larval forms of heartworms.
What happens when my pet takes heartworm medication?
Cats and dogs react differently to heartworm infestations. Heartworms can be removed from your dog’s system through injected medication or surgery, if necessary. However, cats can only be treated through prevention. That’s why it’s important to stay up-to-date on their heartworm prevention plans. Preventive medicine can be applied topically or orally. You may even choose to use medicine that protects your pets from other parasites.
On the other hand, treating your dog for heartworm requires more discipline. This process can last about 6 months. In between this time, ensure that your dog is not too active. As the heartworms break apart they could get clogged in their bloodstream and lead to fatal consequences.