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Heartworm Testing

These parasitic worms may seem harmless – many say they look like stings of spaghetti – but they can cause serious medical harm to your pet. They can forever damage your dog’s hearts and lungs. Plus, if heartworm is left untreated, several hundreds of them can live and reproduce inside your dog. If you think that your pet may have heartworm, please call our team right away at 705.742.4243.

How can pets get heartworm?

Your loyal companion can get these parasites from the bite of a mosquito. Other animals such as cats can also get heartworm, but dogs are their ideal host.

What are the symptoms of heartworm?

The scary thing about heartworm is that at first, your pet will display little to no symptoms of having them. For this reason, coming to the hospital for regular wellness exams and making sure that they are updated on their preventative medication is key. As heartworms grow and reproduce inside your dog, symptoms will become more visible. Constant coughing, weight loss, swollen stomach, fatigue, difficulty breathing and walking are some of the most common signs that you may notice.

What are the treatment options for heartworm?

Before anything else, it’s important that your pet is on regular preventative medications against heartworm (and other types of parasites). Remember that even missing just one dose can leave your pet unprotected. Heartworm treatment can take many months, several manual removals, injections, and even lifestyle modifications that can disrupt your routine. We cannot stress enough that prevention is key when it comes to heartworm.


4DX Testing: A Quick and Powerful Screening Tool for the Health of Your Dog

The 4DX test is a quick blood test that screens for four diseases which affect our dogs: Heartworm, Lyme, Anaplasma and Ehrlichia. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and is becoming more prevalent as the climate warms and more dogs (unknowingly infected) are brought into the province from other areas where mosquito borne diseases are widespread. In a few discrete areas within southern Ontario, such as Peterborough County, the prevalence of infection in dogs not on a heartworm preventive can be as high as 5% to 10%.* Local wildlife such as foxes, coyotes and wolves may be infected and be able to spread the disease to our dogs through the mosquito.

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