Heartworm Testing for Pets

Heartworm disease can be potentially life-threatening for your pet. However, if detected early, our veterinary team can create a treatment plan that will address any adverse effects of the disease. Since heartworm disease often doesn’t manifest as symptoms until it’s in its later stages, regular testing allows us to discover and address these internal parasites. 

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How do I know my pet has heartworm disease?

Depending on how many heartworms your pet is infected with and the stage of disease, you probably will only notice subtle differences in your pet’s health and behaviour. If you notice any of the following signs, be sure to get in touch with us immediately at 403-253-7044. You can look out for: 

  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Persistent coughing 
  • Sudden weight loss 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Lethargy 

Will I notice heartworm in my pet’s stool?

You can see adult heartworms in your pet’s stool, but that isn’t the most accurate way to diagnose an infection. If your pet has a high worm count, meaning more heartworms have completed their life cycle, they are more detectable. However, the microscopic eggs they lay before this are only detectable with the help of a microscope. Our veterinary team can accurately help you determine if your pet has an infection.  

Can my pet recover from the disease?

Heartworm disease is treatable, though it is a long and gruelling process, particularly for your pet. We administer a drug via an injection to kill adult heartworms that have migrated to your pet’s heart and blood vessels. However, there are a few cases where the disease can ultimately compromise your pet’s health and become fatal. Before the disease gets to this stage, ensuring your pet is on a parasite control plan ensures they’re safeguarded against the harmful parasites.

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