For pet owners, springtime serves as a steadfast reminder to test your four-legged family friends for heartworm. It’s also the right time to begin preventative measures aimed at warding off the life-threatening disease, and any other illnesses.
Located in Stoney Creek, Ont., Fruitland Veterinary Hospital emphasizes a thorough wellness examination that screens for heartworm disease, among other health issues. We also advise you of other diagnostic tests required based on your pet’s needs.
Heartworm is transmitted through mosquito bites that strike during peak mosquito season – typically during the summer and early fall months in Ontario. Spring is the optimal time to test dogs for heartworm as it takes about six or seven months for larvae to develop into the adult worms that infect a dog’s heart, lungs and blood vessels.
An annual wellness examination that includes a heartworm test can detect these adult worms. Without regular testing, heartworm is rarely detected as clinical signs are often not evident. At this point, the damage to internal organs is likely irreversible.
Wellness examinations, nevertheless, are an important part of your pet’s ongoing health care as they can also catch a disease or infection in its early stage. This reduces the risk of progression and further damage to the organ systems. Heartworm, for example, can cause irreparable damage to your dog’s heart and lungs.
As well as screening for illness, spring is an optimal time to begin preventative measures to curb diseases like heartworm. Once a blood test determines your dog is not infected, we prescribe an easy-to-follow preventative program that involves pills to be ingested internally, or a topical solution.
A wellness examination is also an opportunity to ask our expert team of veterinary professional any questions you may have about your dog’s health or behaviour. Our in-house diagnostic laboratory team can answer your questions in a timely manner, while also formulating a health plan suitable for your dog’s needs.
Fruitland Veterinary Hospital is located at 621 Barton St. Unit 7 in Hamilton, Ont. To schedule an appointment, call 905-643-6800. Visit our website, email us or follow us on Facebook.