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Heartworm Testing for Pets

Heartworm disease not only affects your pet’s hearts but can also cause lung disease, organ damage and may even lead to death. The seriousness of this disease makes it important to get your pet tested. Especially since canine friends are great hosts for these parasites, regular testing ensures your pet is safe from the harmful effects of the disease.

How do you test for heartworms?

We take your pet’s blood sample to conduct the test in our in-house laboratory. The test helps detect antigens (heartworm proteins) released into your pet’s bloodstream by adult female heartworms. The typical life cycle of a heartworm can be up to seven years. After around 5 months, the larvae deposited by mosquitos grow into adult worms, which is around the time our tests can detect them in your pet’s body. Though dogs are more susceptible to heartworm infections, we recommend testing for all furry friends.

When should my pet get tested?

If your pet hasn’t been tested for heartworms recently, please contact us at 403.934.3311. We might recommend your pet get tested not only if they’re displaying symptoms of an infection but also if:

  • Your pet is about to start new heartworm prevention
  • If you forgot to give your pet their heartworm medication on time
  • If your pet is switching heartworm prevention
  • If you live in or have visited an area with a high infection rate
  • During the height of heartworm season

    How do I prevent my pet from getting heartworm disease?

    In this case, prevention is always better than cure. Getting rid of heartworms can be costly and time-consuming, especially when it is a preventable disease. Ensure your pet is taking a monthly preventive medication, which can either be a topical cream or an oral tablet. Regardless of the method you choose, the most important thing is to ensure your pet is protected.

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