Heartworm Testing for Pets
Heartworm testing is one of the most important examinations your pet will have in their life. Heartworms are parasites that are transmitted through infected mosquitoes. They can live in your pet’s heart, lungs and bloodstream for years causing irreversible damage to their organs and lifestyle. Having your pet regularly tested for heartworms is a great way to ensure they are not hosts and to eliminate the worms before they reproduce to an extreme level. Call us at 403.527.4888 to arrange your pet’s heartworm test.
How often should I bring my pet in to be tested?
We recommend getting your pet tested annually or semi-annually if they are older or live close to a wooded area. Since heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, they will be more vulnerable in the summer, so it’s worth having them checked more frequently if they live in these high risk environments.
How are pets tested for heartworm?
Since heartworms live in the bloodstream, we will do a blood test to seek them out. Blood samples reveal the existence of baby larvae living in your pet’s system. We can also use X-rays and ultrasounds to search for them in your pet’s lungs and heart.
What happens if my pet is diagnosed with heartworms?
The kind of care we can offer your pet depends on the severity of their case and if they are a cat or a dog. One fact is true for both cases, getting your pets tested regularly can save their life.
Cats: Cats and dogs can be given preventative medication in the form of injections, oral tablets and topical creams. However, if cats contract heartworm there is no cure for them. That’s why committing to routine preventative care and testing is key. Not many heartworms can clutter your cat’s system but if left undetected for too long, it can cause respiratory issues or death.
Dogs: Dogs on the other hand can receive medication that will remove heartworms from their system. It involves monthly injections and takes up to 6 months to remove them entirely. If dogs are untreated for too long heartworms can clog their arteries, reproduce rapidly (leading to potential surgery) or cause death. Getting your dog tested regularly can save their life.