Frequently Asked Questions about Heartworm Test
What are Signs of a Heartworm Infestation?
A heartworm infestation resembles bunches of tiny noodles that clog your pet's lungs and heart. Signs of a possible heartworm infection in dogs may include:
- Fits of coughing
- Sudden lethargy, sleepiness and inactivity
- Loss of appetite and rapid weight loss
- Difficulty breathing, straining to breathe
- High blood pressure
- Appearing dizzy or unsteady (dogs in advanced stages of a heartworm infection may faint)
To diagnose heartworm disease in dogs, your Columbus veterinarian uses a heartworm antigen test kit that detects heartworm proteins in your pet's blood.
How Long Should a Dog Owner Wait to Get a Heartworm Test at the Veterinary Clinic?
Since it takes about six months for a heartworm infection to show a positive test result, puppies less than seven months old should begin taking heartworm preventive medication. Your pet should then be re-checked six months later to ensure they do not have heartworms.
How Much Does a Heartworm Test Cost?
Compared to the cost of heartworm treatment (as much as $1000 for advanced heartworm infections), the cost of a heartworm test is negligible. Preventing heartworm disease is not only cost effective but eliminates the risk of your pet suffering serious health complications.
Is a Heartworm Test Painful for Pets?
Not at all. Your veterinary clinic just needs a small sample of blood for detecting heartworm proteins in the blood of an infected dog. Results of heartworm tests are obtained within 24 hours so that if the test is positive, a treatment plan can be made for your pet immediately.
My Pet is Taking Heartworm Medications. Do I Still Need to Have Him Tested by Veterinarians?
Yearly testing is essential to ensure heartworm medications are working. Your pet is at risk for contracting heartworms even if he misses just one dose or is late taking a dose. Although heartworm medications are highly effective, no medication is 100 percent effective. Your dog could vomit or spit out their heartworm pill a few minutes after you give them the pill or you might think they swallowed the pill when they haven't completely swallowed it.
Schedule Your Pet's Heartworm Test at Our Columbus Animal Hospital Today
Hamilton Road Animal Hospital in Columbus, OH also serves dog and cat owners living in Reynoldsburg, Pickerington, Whitehall, Groveport, Gahanna and Bexley. Call us at (614) 239-0027 to learn more about heartworm testing and preventative heartworm medications.