Heartworm Prevention and Testing
All dogs are at risk of heartworm disease. If you own a dog, then you must have him/her on regular heartworm prevention from 6 weeks of age, for the rest of his/her life – no exceptions.
As part of your pet’s annual health check, we can administer an annual heartworm injection, saving you time and ensuring your pet is fully protected all year round.
Dogs greater than 6 months old must be blood-tested before starting on medication (to make sure that they are not already infected with heartworm). This also applies if they miss more than 6 months’ medication. (Heartworm tablets will not usually kill heartworm once they reach the heart, and giving tablets to a dog with adult heartworm may cause side-effects.)
If treatment lapses for less than 6 months, it should be restarted ASAP, but a blood test will be needed 8 – 12 months later. Our on-site diagnostic facilities allow us to carry out heartworm testing.
Dogs more than 8 weeks of age when they have their first treatment should also have a follow-up blood test 8 – 12 months later. This eliminates the possibility that your dog may have been incubating heartworm disease before being started on medication. (Heartworm tests are only able to detect heartworm after they mature in the heart).
If you have any questions about heartworm disease or to book a test, please contact us.