Small brown dog being held by veterinarian

Heartworm Testing for Dogs

Heartworms are another type of parasite that your canine companion can get from being bitten by infected mosquitoes, and other means. A heartworm infestation can lead to serious health problems. For example, when they reach adulthood these parasites can grow to a foot long and have the ability to block major blood vessels and cause blood clots. For this reason, it’s important that your pet receives regular examinations, vaccines, and parasite protection to ensure maximum safety.

What are signs that a dog has heartworm?

First of all, a proper check up with our veterinary team is the best way to know for sure if your pet has heartworm. That being said below are some telltale signs that you can watch out for. If you notice your pet displaying any of these symptoms, it is best to contact us immediately so that your pet can undergo proper analysis and can be treated ASAP.

  • Persistent dry coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drastic weight loss
  • Fainting
  • What happens when a dog is tested for heartworm?

    Initially, a sample of your pet’s blood needs to be taken. The blood sample will then be tested to see if any heartworm proteins are present. Results will usually be available in about 24 hours. At our hospital, heartworm testing usually begins on April 15th of each year. The newest test also includes testing for 3 tick-borne pathogens.

    How do you get rid of heartworm in dogs?

    Once heartworm has been confirmed, your furry pal will receive treatment depending on the severity of infection and the kinds of symptoms that they have. Injectable medications are usually prescribed. These are designed to kill the heartworms that have infected your pet. Complementary therapies like activity restriction and cage rest may also be recommended because increased movement can further the spread of heartworm.

    Last updated: July 22, 2022.

    Dear Pet Parents,

    We are happy to announce that we are fully open to the public and seeing all cases by appointment only. However, we are currently only allowing one client into the exam room with their pet at this time, with exceptions for end-of-life appointments. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

    To make an online purchase for pick up at our hospital, or for delivery directly to your home, please see our Online Store.

    We are OPEN with the following hours:
    Monday to Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (for food sales only; no vets in clinic)
    Sunday: Closed

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at West Brant Animal Hospital