Heartworm Testing and Treatment

What are heartworms? They are dangerous parasites that are passed from an infected animal to another animal through a mosquito bite. Heartworm infection is diagnosed by a specific antigen test run on a blood sample. Most dogs are asymptomatic or showing no signs of infection but some can demonstrate a cough, fatigue and even weight loss. Symptoms in cats mimic other feline diseases. Treatment for heartworms is extensive and expensive. While undergoing medicine treatment, your animal must be kept contained and under strict exercise limitations. This can last up to 8 weeks. The American Heartworm Society believes that the best treatment for heartworms is prevention. There are several types of preventatives including a chewy treat, pills and even injectable medicines. Country Place Veterinary Clinic routinely tests for heartworms at a yearly appointment, however if you are noticing a change in your pet’s behavior and appetite, please bring them in to be assessed by a doctor.