While heartworm is rare in Québec, prevention still needs to be taken seriously, since contracting it can be fatal.
What is a heartworm?
Heartworms are parasites that travel through an animal’s blood stream and settle in the heart and pulmonary arteries. The disease usually affects canines like dogs and coyotes.
Heartworm larvae are transmitted to an animal through a bite from an infected mosquito. The larvae grow inside the bloodstream, reaching as long 30 centimetres. An individual worm can survive for up to five years.
What are the symptoms of heartworm?
Most animals don’t show symptoms for several years following infection. Hence the importance of annual blood work, which is how we can detect heartworm.
Animals in advanced stages of infection may experience breathing difficulties, and heart, digestive, kidney and circulatory problems.
Can I protect my pet against heartworm?
Yes! Parasite control products can help prevent heartworm. Speak to your veterinarian for more information. They can prescribe a preventative treatment that meets your beloved pet’s needs.
Can you test for other diseases?
Yes, we are able to screen for tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. The screening tests we offer at the clinic also allow us to detect infectious diseases such as ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis that can cause significant health problems in your companion. Symptoms of these diseases are fever, loss of appetite and dejection.