Spring is in full swing, which means that pesky bugs, such as mosquitos, will be back before you know it. While these bugs can be an annoyance to humans, they carry a whole different set of concerns for your dog, the number one being heartworm.
WHAT IS HEARTWORM?
Heartworm is a parasite that is carried by mosquitos and can be transmitted to dogs when bitten. When an infected mosquito bites a dog, they transmit larvae into the dog where the larvae grow for a period of approximately 6 months. During this growing period, the larvae take residence within the blood vessels leading to the lungs and right side of the year. Not surprisingly, the growth of these heartworms can lead to serious and irreversible damage. While some dogs show no clinic signs, common ones include shortness of breath, coughing, difficulty breathing, and weakness. This is why prevention is so important.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING HEARTWORM TESTING IN OUR KITCHENER-WATERLOO VET CLINIC?
Heartworm prevention is the most effective way to keep your dog heartworm-free. The best part is that it’s easier to do than you may think. Each spring, we invite all of our canine patients into the clinic for a basic heartworm test. During this test, we’ll take a small sample of your dog’s blood and test it for the presence of heartworm larvae. This is important because the next steps are very different depending on whether or not your dog has already been infected with heartworm. During this appointment, we will also test for a variety of tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, that can cause issues in your dog.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN HEARTWORM PREVENTION?
If the heartworm test comes back negative, the next step is to prescribe a heartworm prevention treatment. There are a number of options available that come in different forms, such as a topical treatment or a pill. If you’re unsure about which form of treatment would be best, our team is here to help. The great thing about a number of heartworm preventions today is that they don’t just prevent heartworms. They can also deworm, kill fleas, ticks, and other parasites.
HOW DO I BOOK MY DOG’S HEARTWORM TEST IN KITCHENER-WATERLOO?
In order for heartworm prevention to be effective, it is recommended that your dog takes their heartworm prevention medication from June 1 – November 1. This is why we recommended booking your heartworm appointment as soon as possible.
Booking a heartworm test at Close Vet Clinic is simple. All you need to do is pick up the phone and call the clinic. Our staff will help find an appointment time for you and your dog to come in, as well as answer any questions you may have.