Dogs and cats can become hosts to worms, especially heartworms. However, heartworms are not ideal guests as they can cause potentially fatal diseases in your pet. Prevention and early detection are the most effective ways to keep your pet safe from serious illness and potential suffering. To schedule your pet’s next heartworm test, call us at 902-562-5551.
What are the signs of heartworm disease in cats and dogs?
In dogs, there are few to no visible symptoms at the early stages of the disease. The symptoms are prominent as the disease progresses. Some signs include mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, weight loss, the appearance of a swollen belly, sudden onset of laboured breathing, pale gums, and dark bloody or coffee-coloured urine.
In cats, signs to look out for include sudden collapse, seizure, coughing, asthma-like attacks, periodic vomiting, difficulty walking, lack of appetite, or weight loss.
Can heartworm disease transfer from one pet to another?
Yes, heartworm disease can be transmitted from one pet to another. If a mosquito bites an infected pet, they can pick up heartworms from their body and transmit them to a healthy pet.
What do I need to know about heartworm testing?
Heartworm is a progressive disease with very few symptoms at the early stages. This is why regular testing is crucial. The test is conducted by drawing a small sample of blood from your pet and sent to the lab, where they test it for heartworm protein. If some presence is detected, the veterinarian will guide you through further tests and treatment.