Heartworm Testing Treatment in Highland Park, IL

At Pets4Life Animal Hospital, we are dedicated to the health of your pet. 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
  • We Provide Education About Heartworms For Pet Owners
  • Encouraging life-long heartworm prevention

What Is Heartworm Testing?

Heartworm disease is a very serious condition.  Proper administration of preventatives and annual blood tests are the best way to prevent your dog from contracting heartworm disease. 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. The American Heartworm Society recommends that puppies and kittens be started on a heartworm preventive as early as the product label allows, and no later than 8 weeks of age.

If you have a puppy under seven months old, they should begin heartworm prevention treatment without a heartworm test 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. They will also need to be tested 6 months and 12 months later and annually after that. The reason dogs older than 7 months old that haven’t been on preventatives need to be re-tested is that heartworms must be approximately 7 months old before the infection can be diagnosed.

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 for your pet.

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