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.
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.
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.
With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 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, heartworm testing, 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. 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. 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