Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

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Dog Heartworm Test

Heartworm is a potentially fatal parasite that invades a dog’s body via mosquito bites. Mosquitos pass worm larvae from one infected dog to another. The larvae enter the bloodstream and migrate to the heart, lungs and associated large vessels where they grow into adult worms, producing more larva to continue the cycle. Dogs are at high-risk in endemic areas.

What are the symptoms of heartworm in a dog?

Depending on the severity of the infestation, symptoms may include lethargy, exercise intolerance, coughing, high blood pressure, difficulty breathing or may be asymptomatic. Alberta is not considered to be a high-risk area for heartworm disease. 

How do dogs get heartworm?

Mosquitos pass worm larvae from one infected dog to another when they bite.

What are the treatment options for heartworm?

There are a variety of treatment options available, mostly as preventative treatment during the spring and summer months when mosquitos are prevalent. This prevents adult worms from taking up residence and reproducing.

Why is recovery and heartworm treatment challenging?

You would think getting rid of heartworm would be as easy as a quick medication to kill the worms. Unfortunately, dead heartworm can cause just as much risk as live ones! Adult heartworm live in a dog’s heart/lungs/big blood vessels. When a dog is infected and not treated, the adult worms are allowed to reproduce, resulting in more adult worms living there. When these adults are killed with heartworm treatment, they can clog up the heart, lungs, and vessels even more. Treatment is a long haul and the dog needs to be confined for it, as physical exertion can cause more damage to the organs.

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Last updated: July 8, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective Monday, July 13, 2020 we have made some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. 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.

5. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Saturday: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED

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

Your dedicated team at Mission Ridge Animal Hospital