Free* heartworm antigen tests at Pet Doctor when you book your dog in for a Proheart SR-12 injection, the only product that will give your pet 12 months protection against heartworm infection.
What is heartworm?
Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a parasitic worm that can be transmitted to animals via mosquitoes. An infected mosquito can bite your pet and inject the larval stage of the worm, which enters the body and inhabits the organs until maturity at approximately 5-6 months of age. Once the worm has reached maturity, it will migrate to the heart and blood vessels of the lungs. Adult heartworms then breed and reproduce, releasing microfilaria (baby heatworm) into the blood stream where they are potentially picked up by the next mosquito that feeds on your pet. Thus the cycle begins again, without your pet ever having to come in contact with other animals. As we’re all aware, mosquitoes can find their way into most homes (with out without fly screens), which means even indoor pets can be at risk of infection.
Heartworm disease symptoms:
- Dry and persistent cough
- Lack of stamina when exercising
- Weight loss
- Dry coat
- Listlessness or weakness
In more advanced cases, there may be heart failure, laboured breathing, a distended abdomen, severe damage to organs, and sometimes collapse from the sudden destruction of a pet’s red blood cells. It is important to understand that this disease can be fatal and often takes time for symptoms to develop. By the time an infected pet starts to show symptoms, at least half of the pet’s lungs are infested and deteriorating, thus the importance of early diagnosis and prevention.
A blood test is the best way to tell if your pet has heartworm disease!
*Conditions apply. Please call us for more information, or to make an appointment today!