Heartworm Testing

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At Brookside Animal Hospital, we recommend annual testing for heartworms as well as a preventive treatment program, following guidelines set by the American Heartworm Society. We can test for the presence of heartworms and 3 prevalent tick diseases quickly, easily and economically with the 4Dx SNAP test.

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that can affect indoor and outdoor companion pets. Heartworm larvae are transmitted to healthy animals by mosquitoes that have previously bitten infected animals.This means that companion pet owners in Tulsa, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Glenpool, Berryhill, and Jenks, Oklahoma need to protect their pets year round with preventive heartworm treatment.

Without the protection provided by a preventive treatment program, heartworms can eventually affect your pet's cardiovascular health. There are few, if any, early signs of heartworm disease in dogs and cats. Heartworm positive dogs will eventually experience difficulty breathing and decreased physical activity. If your dog tests positive, there is a treatment for it, however it is a lengthy and costly one. Your pet will need to be kept calm for several months in order to avoid putting stress on the heart and lungs.

If your dog’s test results come back negative, then our veterinarian will start your dog on a preventive treatment that you will need to administer year-round for the rest of the animal’s life. These preventive medications come in several forms, including injectables, pills, topical applications, and tasty treats.

Cats should be put on a preventive treatment and tested as recommended by our veterinarian. Cats are not a natural host for heartworms however, just a few can make a cat very ill. Prevention in cats is critical because there is no approved drug treatment for heartworm infection in cats. If your cat tests positive for heartworms, they can be helped with good veterinary care and a long-term management plan.

Ticks bite the skin and consume the host’s blood until they are gorged or physically removed. The longer the tick is attached to the host, the greater the risk of developing serious illnesses such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis. In rare cases, ticks have been known to cause anemia and tick paralysis.

The best way to protect against diseases carried by ticks is to be vigilant with a tick preventative program, check your pet’s skin and coat daily, and have your pet tested annually.

If you haven’t had your companion pet tested for heartworms or tick diseases, schedule an appointment today at Brookside Animal Hospital. Our doctors and staff will work with you to determine the best preventatives based on your pet’s individual lifestyle.

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