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Heartworm Testing for Pets

Heartworm testing allows us to ensure your pet stays free of heartworms, which can cause life-threatening health conditions. Since complications caused by heartworm infections can often be difficult and costly to treat, regular heartworm testing ensures your pet remains infection-free. If you have questions about our heartworm testing, please contact us at 905.682.7857.

How often should my pet get tested?

For pets living in Ontario, we might recommend heartworm testing at least once a year, especially if your pet lives in an area where they’re more susceptible to the disease. For example, pets in southern Ontario have a higher rate of exposure and require more frequent tests than furry friends in other parts of the country. Heartworms can take up to 6 months to develop and be detectable via blood tests. For this reason, your pet will mostly be tested at least 7 months after their most recent potential exposure.

How would heartworms affect my pet?

Heartworms can cause a great deal of internal damage to your pet, which is fatal in some cases. In the early stages of infection, your pet might not display any change in their health. However, being aware of the signs helps detect the infection early on. Any of the symptoms below could be a sign your pet has heartworms:

  • Continuous coughing
  • Unexplained tiredness
  • Swollen belly
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of interest in exercise or other physical activity
  • Weight loss

    How do you treat heartworm disease?

    Heartworm disease is difficult and painstaking to treat, though not impossible. Before your pet gets to this stage, it’s better to ensure they’ve been prescribed a preventive medication. Heartworm disease is preventable so it’s important you play your part to ensure your pet is protected. Though the disease is more common in canine friends, it’s still recommended that feline friends also take this medication to ensure they’re not affected.