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Dog Heartworm Test

How do dogs get heartworm?


A dog can be infected with heartworm when bitten by a mosquito that is carrying heartworm larvae. The larvae travel through the bloodstream to the lungs and the major blood vessels of the heart. The larvae then mature into adult worms and can multiply in large numbers. It takes about six months for heartworm infection to be detectable on a blood test.

What can we do?


Heartworm disease can cause irreversible damage to the lungs and heart and can be potentially fatal. Signs of heartworm disease include a persistent cough, exercise intolerance, decreased appetite and weight loss. Recommendations will be discussed with you during your appointment, there are multiple medications designed for the specific needs of your pet.

How do we treat?


Treatment of heartworm disease involves multiple hospitalizations, injections and pain medication. Since the treatment has significant risks and expense, it is strongly recommended to prevent heartworm infection rather than dealing with the disease.

What do we recommend?


Prevention is much less expensive than treatment and involves administering a monthly topical or oral medication from June to November. Dogs who travel to the U.S. may need to be on prevention all year round because of differences in climate. For adult dogs, we recommend testing for heartworm every year when not on a preventative product, and every two years when on prevention. For puppies, we recommend testing two years consecutively, starting at a minimum of 6 months of age. Testing involves taking a small blood sample and running a 10-minute test in-clinic. Early detection of heartworm infection can prevent some of the damage caused by the disease and can make treatment safer.

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Last updated: September 28, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sunday: Closed


NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Barriefield Animal Hospital