As small as a mosquito can be, they can actually cause detrimental health effects in your pet. This is especially true if the mosquito is carrying heartworm. Heartworm disease can cause serious damage to the heart, lungs, and other organs, and can be fatal if left untreated. Heartworm testing is a common diagnostic test performed on dogs - and less commonly on cats - to detect the presence of heartworm infection. If you have concerns about heartworm infection or prevention, call us at 204-728-0033.
Does my pet require a heartworm test every year?
Yes, it is generally recommended that pets receive heartworm testing annually. Heartworm disease is a potentially life-threatening condition and early detection is very important to prevent the disease from spreading. While heartworm disease can be prevented with monthly heartworm prevention medications, there is no guarantee that your pet will never be infected. The test will ensure that the medication is working effectively and that your pet is not harboring undetected heartworm infections.
What are the first signs of heartworms in pets?
The early signs of heartworm disease in pets can be difficult to detect, as the symptoms may be mild or easily attributed to other conditions. However, as the disease progresses, some common symptoms you may see include:
- Persistent cough
- Exercise intolerance
- Decreased appetite
If my pet is infected, will I be able to see them in my pet's feces?
Unlike many parasites and worms visible to the naked eye, heartworms will not show up in feces. That is because these types of parasites do not live in the gastrointestinal tract and instead live within the heart and blood vessels of infected animals. Therefore, heartworms are typically diagnosed through blood tests or specialized imaging techniques.