Everything You Need to Know About Heartworm Testing
One of the most terrifying things for a pet owner is the idea that their furry friend might suffer from heartworms. The veterinarians at Jane Animal Hospital in Toronto are here to put your worries to rest, and we want to share some facts with you about heartworms and heartworm testing.
What Is Heartworm Disease?
Heartworm disease is caused by parasitic one foot-long worms that live in the heart, lung and associated blood vessels of dogs, cats, and ferrets. This condition is very dangerous and can even be potentially fatal.
How Do Pets Catch Heartworms?
Heartworms also afflict many wild animals, and because mosquitoes can transmit the worm eggs from one animal to another, even if there are no instances of heartworm, an unprotected animal is highly susceptible to catching heartworms. Heartworms are very common to dogs, and infected dogs can pass the disease onto their offspring.
What Is Heartworm Testing?
Heartworm testing is a simple blood test that can determine whether or not your pet has heartworms. Our veterinarian can perform this test and when it is negative the vet will know it is safe to prescribe heartworm prevention medication for your pet.
When Should My Pet Be Tested for Heartworm?
Dogs should be tested every single year at their annual or semi-annual pet wellness check-up. Even a dog that has previously tested negative, and has been given regular heartworm medication, should still be tested to make sure that the animal remains free of heartworms.
What Happens If My Dog Tests Positive for Heartworms?
Fortunately, there is a treatment for heartworm. However, it is quite a serious treatment that will not be easy on your pet's body, and can even prove to be toxic. Additionally, the treatment is quite expensive. As with many other medical issues, the best treatment for heartworm will always remain prevention.
How Do I Prevent Heartworms?
The best way to avoid heartworms for your furry friend is through annual testing with a veterinarian combined with monthly medication.
Where Can I Learn More About Heartworm Testing?
This is probably the easiest question to answer. If you have any questions or you would like to schedule a time for heartworm testing with a veterinarian, please call us at (416) 762-5558. At Jane Animal Hospital in Toronto, we are happy to help you and your furry family member with whatever veterinary services you need.