Heartworm disease is a very serious and potentially fatal condition, especially in dogs. Heartworms can cause lasting damage to a dog’s heart, lungs, and other organs. With heartworm testing, your pet’s veterinarian can best determine any infection, treatment, and preventative measures. A simple blood test can detect the presence of heartworms, after which further testing may be needed. Radiography and echocardiography may also be used to determine any damage to the heart or cardiovascular system if an infection is diagnosed.
Annual testing and (monthly) preventative treatment is recommended. There are several types of preventative treatment options, including topical and oral, to best suit your pet’s needs. Should an infection be diagnosed, more frequent testing may be necessary to monitor the condition and the effectiveness of the treatment.