Heartworm disease is life threatening and is caused by heartworms, a parasite that causes life-threatening infections in the heart and lungs. Routine blood tests allow us to test for heartworms. Early detection helps us determine a course of action to effectively treat the infection.
Who is at risk of heartworm disease?
Though dogs are the ideal hosts of heartworms, it doesn’t mean your feline friend is safe from the possibility of infection. If your pet is bitten by a mosquito carrying the infected larvae, they are able to make a home out of your pet’s heart and can cause long-lasting damage. In dogs, heartworms complete their life cycle to become adults, which multiply to create more heartworms. In cats, they have a more difficult time completing their life cycle. Only a few worms mature into adults, where they’re able to reproduce and multiply.
What are the signs of heartworm disease?
Even if your pet isn’t showing signs of the disease, it doesn’t mean they don’t have it. Sometimes symptoms only manifest at later stages, so it’s important to stay vigilant with even minor changes in your pet’s health. If you notice any of the signs below, it’s important to contact us immediately at 705-522-4555. Some signs include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Difficulty breathing
How do you test for heartworms?
Heartworms can be detected using antibody and antigen tests. Antibody tests are able to detect heartworms in their early life stages by showing any exposure to heartworm larvae. Antigen tests detect heartworms after heartworm disease has progressed more. Regular testing allows us to detect and treat the disease in its early stage before it begins to negatively impact your pet’s quality of life.