Heartworm Testing for Pets

Vital assessments for early detection and timely treatment of heartworms.

To ensure the well-being of your pets, it is crucial to safeguard them against heartworm, a severe and potentially fatal disease. Treating heartworm in dogs or cats can be challenging once they are infected, underscoring the significance of proactive prevention. At Walden Animal Hospital, we provide comprehensive measures to help dogs and cats evade heartworm infection. Explore the information on heartworm, preventive measures, and the assistance we offer. If you have additional concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us at 705-692-4446.

How do heartworms affect my dog or cat?

Symptoms of heartworm disease vary between cats and dogs. Cats may experience vomiting, weight loss, coughing, and asthma-like symptoms, while dogs often show no early signs of infection. As the worms progress, dogs may exhibit reduced appetite, severe coughing, abdominal swelling, rapid weight loss, fatigue, fainting, and a loss of interest in activities. Both species can suffer from severe health complications. Immediate treatment is crucial for dogs, as the disease can be fatal. While there are no approved treatments for cats, veterinarians can offer medications to manage their symptoms.

How do dogs and cats get heartworms?

Wild animals are also vulnerable to heartworm infestation, as mosquitoes can transfer worm eggs between animals. Even in the absence of existing heartworm cases, unprotected animals remain highly susceptible to contracting the disease. Dogs are particularly prone to heartworm infection, and infected dogs can transmit the disease to their offspring.

Do I really need to test my pet for heartworms?

Yes, it is important your cat or dog is tested regularly for heartworms. This is because of two reasons:

  1. Each year, numerous dogs are adopted and transported to Canada from countries like the USA, and Cuba, where heartworm is widespread. With tens of thousands of dogs being adopted internationally by Canadians annually, we also import the diseases that accompany them, including heartworm.
  2. Wildlife serves as hosts for heartworm infection, and due to obvious reasons, they do not receive preventive medications or treatments. As a result, our pets remain at ongoing risk of contracting heartworm.
Return to Dog & Cat Services