Testing & Treatment

At Passion Fur Paws, we are dedicated to the health of your pet. Therefore, we strongly recommend that dogs, even those on regular heartworm protection, be tested for heartworms once a year. We will run this test as part of your pet’s regular wellness exam. We also recommend testing cats if they are new to your home or a recent adoption from out of state.

How We Support Your Pet:

  • Running annual heartworm tests to detect this potentially fatal disease
  • We provide education about heartworms for pet owners
  • Encouraging monthly heartworm prevention
  • We provide long-lasting injectable heart worm protection options for dogs that find oral prevention unpalatable and/or have severe food sensitivities

What Is Heartworm Testing?

Heartworm disease is very serious, but with early detection, your pet has a much greater chance of a full recovery. Regular testing is important because there are few, if any, signs of early heartworm infections. The test requires a small blood sample, which allows us to detect the presence of any heartworm proteins or antigens. An antigen test detects heartworm proteins, which are released by adult female heartworms into a dog's bloodstream.

How Often Should My Pet Be Tested for Heartworms?

Your adult dog should be tested for heartworms once per year, during their routine wellness visit. If you have a puppy under seven months old, they should begin heartworm prevention treatment and subsequently be tested for heartworms every six months for a year. After a year, they should be tested for heartworms annually. Dogs older than seven months, who have not been on a heartworm prevention treatment, must be tested before starting prevention treatment.

We recommend also testing all cats (even if indoor only) at least once. Many cats have lived in other states or were adopted from the shelter that were brought to Colorado from other states. To ensure their health is not at risk, nor are they a risk to other pets around them, we include a discounted heart worm check in cats within the young adult annual package.

How Does my Pet Get Heartworm Disease?

Dogs and cats become infected with heartworms when they are bitten by an infected mosquito. Dogs and cats can only get heartworms from infected mosquitoes. There is no spread from dog to dog, dog to cat, or dog to human. However, if there is a heartworm positive dog nearby that gets bit by a mosquito and that same insect bites your pet, the disease will be spread.

Can I Prevent Heartworms?

Yes, as a pet owner, you can prevent your pet from getting heartworms! Preventive medication is extremely effective and cheaper than treatment in the event that your pet becomes positive. During your visit, after your pet has tested negative for heartworms, we will recommend the preventive treatment best for you.

For more information about heartworm testing and prevention or to make an appointment with Passion Fur Paws, please call us today at 970-485-1916.

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