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Heartworm Testing for Pets

Heartworms are parasites that can greatly affect the well-being of your pets. Prevention of heartworms is strongly advised as an infection can be life threatening. If left untreated heartworms can result in heart failure, lung disease, organ damage and even fatality in pets. Here at Southglen Veterinary Hospital we provide treatment and a prevention plan to keep your loyal companions safe.

What is heartworm disease in pets?

Heartworm disease is contracted through the bites of mosquitoes. The worms live inside mosquitoes for a short period and mature/produce offspring in pets, especially dogs. The worms are called heartworms because the adults live in the heart, blood vessels and lungs of the infected animal.

What are signs of heartworms in my pet?

Signs of heartworm disease are dependent on how severe the infection is. In some instances, there are no signs if your pet was not infected for a long time or there may not be a lot of worms living inside your pet. The symptoms your pet display can range from mild to life threatening if left untreated. Here are signs you can look for:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Persistent cough
  • Heart failure


    How is heartworm disease diagnosed in my pet?

    Blood testing is commonly used to diagnose heartworm disease in pets. Our team will perform lab work to confirm the presence of heartworms. Our veterinarians may also run tests to examine kidney and liver function as well as X-rays for the chest and ultrasound of the heart. If an infection is confirmed our veterinarians will provide appropriate treatment.

    How can I prevent heartworm in my pet?

    Preventative treatment should begin very early. Your veterinarian may prescribe monthly medications in the form of tablets or topical liquids. Your pet will also need to get their shot for heartworms every 6-12 months. Some heartworm preventative treatments are effective against other parasites, be sure to ask your veterinarian for more insight. Schedule your pet’s heartworm testing appointment at 204-452-0077.


    June is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month

    With “kitten season” fully underway, shelters will soon be full of cats and kittens in need of loving homes. It is in late spring and early summer when cats often have a litter of kittens. This increases the number of felines that are homeless. Due to higher-than-normal numbers of kittens and cats in shelters at this time of year, June is recognized as Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat month.

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