We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.
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.
Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.
The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:
1. We are currently operating a "closed-door" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 780-458-3833. We will take a history of your pet from outside of your car, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan.
2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.
3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Saturdays 9:00 - 2:00 pm and closed on Sundays.
4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the clinic. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment from your vehicle. We do have our online store available, which can be accessed from our website by clicking the Online Store button.
5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.
6. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.
Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.
Your dedicated team at Mission Ridge Animal Hospital