Heartworm Testing and Parasite Control

Pets are definitely in hot demand – not just with us humans – but also with harmful parasites. Dogs, cats and other furry friends make the perfect hosts for fleas, ticks, lice, worms and so many more creepy crawlies. These creatures are not only gross; they can also cause serious and life-threatening complications. (Some of which can be passed on to other people and pets in your area.) The good news is our team is here to help. Call us today at 905-438-0664 to find out how we can protect your pet from parasites. 

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What is the best way to stop pets from getting parasites?

We recommend many steps to take, the most important being that your pet is on a year-round parasite control medication. All pets – including those who live exclusively indoors – need protection all their life, even during the winter season. Missing just one dose can leave your pet vulnerable to infestation. Reach out to us today and we will be happy to discuss the best formulas and options for your pet’s specific needs and lifestyle.

How do I know if my pet has parasites?

Symptoms will vary depending on the specific parasite your pet has, as well as their overall state of health. Some warning signs you can watch out for are: 

  • Inflammation, growths, redness, sores on their skin
  • Unusual discharge
  • Excessive itching and scratching 
  • Scooting or dragging of their rear 
  • Pot belly or bloated stomach 
  • Diarrhea or vomiting 
  • Fatigue or decreased activity levels 
  • Sudden weight loss

Why is heartworm testing so important?

One of the most dangerous things about heartworm is that your pet may display little to no symptoms. This is usually the case during the early stages of infestation, or if the pet has a small amount of heartworm. The only way to detect heartworm is through a blood test, which can detect proteins released by heartworm into your pet’s bloodstream. The test is very accurate and can detect the presence of even just one adult heartworm. Early detection is key so we can prevent the infection from worsening, thus reducing the severity of complications.

How often should pets be tested for heartworm?

Ideally, pets should be tested for heartworm once per year. Even if your pet is up-to-date on their year-round preventive medications, it is still best to get them checked on a regular basis.

Can cats get heartworm?

These parasites are more common in dogs as they are the “ideal host”, however, cats can still get heartworm from time to time. Just like dogs, cats can get infected from the bite of an infected mosquito. You may want to consider a prevention plan for your cat depending on his/her lifestyle.

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