Heartworm Testing Treatment in Huntsville and Madison, AL
At Animal Medical Clinic, we are dedicated to the health of your pet. Therefore, we strongly recommend that dogs, even those on regular heartworm protection, be tested for heartworms once a year. We will run this test as part of your pet’s regular wellness exam.
How We Support Your Pet:
- Running Heartworm Tests to Detect This Potentially Fatal Disease
- Providing Education on Heartworms, Foot-Long Worms That Live in the Heart, Lungs, and Blood Vessels
- Encouraging Monthly Heartworm Treatment
What Is Heartworm Testing?
Heartworm disease is very serious, but with early detection, your pet has a much greater chance of a full recovery. Regular testing is important because there are few, if any, signs of early heartworm infections. The test requires a small blood sample, which allows us to detect the presence of any heartworm proteins or antigens. An antigen test detects heartworm proteins, which are released by adult female heartworms into a dog's bloodstream.
How Often Should My Pet Be Tested for Heartworms?
Your adult dog should be tested for heartworms once per year, during their routine wellness visit. If you have a puppy under seven months old, they should begin heartworm prevention treatment and subsequently be tested for heartworms every six months for a year. After a year, they should be tested for heartworms annually. Dogs older than seven months, who have not been on a heartworm prevention treatment, must be tested before starting prevention treatment.
How Does a Dog Get Heartworm Disease?
Dogs and cats become infected with heartworms when they are bitten by an infected mosquito. Dogs and cats can only get heartworms from infected mosquitoes. There is no spread from dog to dog, dog to cat, or dog to human.
Can I Prevent Heartworms?
Yes, as a pet owner, you can prevent your pet from getting heartworms! Preventive medication is extremely effective. During your visit, after your pet has tested negative for heartworms, we will recommend the preventive treatment best for you.
For more information about heartworm testing and prevention or to make an appointment with your Huntsville veterinarian, please call us today at (256) 837-9700.