Heartworm Testing for Pets
It all starts with one pesky and infected mosquito. Heartworms live in an animal’s bloodstream. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, they can collect the parasite and transfer it to your pet. Heartworms can reproduce and live for years in your pet’s system. This can lead to long term medical conditions for your pet. In addition, heartworms impact cats and dogs differently. To get your pet started on heartworm prevention, book an appointment by calling 403.984.4143.
How can heartworms affect my dog?
Did you know a heartworm can live up to 5 years in a dog’s heart? Dogs are more susceptible to heartworms and have been found to host dozens at a time. As warm weather approaches, and mosquito season begins, it’s possible that an already infected dog could contract more heartworms from another mosquito bite. The longer your dog is infected the more likely they will develop damage to their heart, lungs and blockages in their arteries.
How can heartworms affect my cat?
Cats have a different experience with heartworms. They are known to contract the disease but not as severely as dogs. Heartworms can exist in a cat’s system for nearly 3 years. Though cats rarely contain more than 3 heartworms at a time, they can still develop long term respiratory conditions. Prevention is most important to your cat’s health. If your cat is displaying incessant coughing, weight loss or vomiting, that may be a sign of a heartworm infestation. It’s best to have your pet checked as soon as possible.
How can I protect my pet?
Regular wellness checks allow us to examine your pet for signs of heartworm infestation. We can find heartworms through ultrasound, X-rays or blood samples that expose worm larvae. For cats, we provide topical and oral medication to prevent a heartworm from growing should a mosquito bite them. For dogs, we have chewable pills, injections and ointments. Both cats and dogs should take these medications all year long.