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Heartworm Testing

Heartworms are parasites transmitted by mosquitoes. It is very important to detect them because a heartworm infestation can be fatal to your pet. Furthermore, an infected pet can be a vector in the transmission of this parasite. We offer a rapid in-house test that allows same-day results. Our team will recommend the best time for your pet’s heartworm test.

What heartworm symptoms should you look out for?

In the early stages of the disease, most pets show few symptoms or are asymptomatic. The longer the disease remains undiagnosed and untreated, the worse your pet’s symptoms may become. In the advanced stage, a pet may show symptoms of heart disease, such as coughing, exercise intolerance, loss of appetite and weight loss.

What are the treatment options for heartworms?

To fully understand heartworms, it is important to distinguish between prevention and treatment. A preventive is administered to your pet from June to November, either on a monthly basis or every 3 months, depending on the product chosen. Preventives that will eliminate immature forms of heartworms (microfilaria) include flavoured treats and topically applied products. However, a pet with adult heartworms will need a stronger treatment to kill them. Your veterinarian may refer you to an internal medicine specialist to treat your furry friend. This is a long and expensive treatment that requires several visits to the vet. Your pet will need to remain calm and avoid exercise during the treatment. All products used to prevent or treat heartworms require a veterinarian prescription.

Why are heartworms so difficult to treat?

Heartworms can infiltrate your pet’s heart, lungs and arteries causing long-term damage. The injectable drug (melarsomine) kills adult worms. The dead worms are then carried deeper into the smaller branches of the vessels that supply the lungs with blood. Exercise needs to be restricted because it increases blood flow to the lungs and can cause vascular blockages during the treatment. Watch out for symptoms of coughing, vomiting, diarrhea or respiratory distress. You should immediately notify your attending veterinarian if any of these symptoms occur during the treatment.

Last updated: May 30, 2021

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

  • Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.
  • Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
  • 3. OPERATING HOURS We are OPEN with the following hours:
    Monday to Friday: 8 am - 8 pm
    Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm
    Sunday: Closed

    5. NEW PET OWNERS Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - The team at Hull Veterinary Hospital