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Heartworm Test

Heartworm Test

Is There a Heartworm Test for Dogs?

The frightening fact is that more than 70 mosquito species currently exist.  Every single one of these mosquitos can be responsible for transmitting heartworms to your dog.  In 1856, an American reported the first case of heartworms.  Then, the first heartworm test, prevention and treatments began in the 1960s.

Heartworm disease is progressive and very very serious, therefore the earlier the detection, the better your chances are of your dog recovering completely. Unfortunately, there really aren’t many early signs of a heartworm infestation.

And, if you live in an area where heartworm mosquitos are prevalent, you’ll want to be extra diligent about this issue with your dog.  Even if you don’t live in those areas, your dog needs heartworm prevention medicine.   Experts have now confirmed that heartworm disease cases exist in all 50 states. As the old saying goes, “A good offense is the best defense”, so you should take the offensive and protect your dog from potentially deadly heartworms.

How does the Heartworm Test Work?

The first step to eliminate heartworms is to have a veterinarian perform a heartworm test on your dog.  This ELISA test only requires a tiny blood sample. How it works is that it detects heartworm proteins in your dog’s blood. You’ll find that many vets are processing these heartworm tests right there in their office or animal hospital.  Some, however, will send these tests out for processing. In any case, you’ll have the results pretty fast. In the event that your dog tests positive on his or her heartworm test, additional tests may be necessary to determine the best course of treatment.

 

(The image above is a derivative of Austin Community College, https://www.flickr.com/photos/62177673@N05/15642359390; CC BY-SA.)

Heartworm Symptoms in Dogs