Today we wanted to draw attention to heartworm tests and prevention. Pet owners whose dogs receive a heartworm preventive every month may scoff at the vet's suggestion of an annual heartworm check. The reality is that testing for heartworm helps both pets and their owners in the long run. This is due to multiple reasons, including:
- Protection Limitations: Heartworm preventives are only effective against certain larval stages. Those that are too young or too old can still wreak havoc, and testing is the only way to know for sure.
- Testing Limitations: Commercial tests can detect only adult heartworms, so testing annually gives you the chance to detect worms before they cause irreversible heart and lung damage.
- Resistance: Resistance to heartworm preventives has developed because vererinarians once gave preventives to heartworm-positive dogs in an effort to relieve clinical signs. Yearly testing can be an indicator if there are resistant worms in the area and help prevent resistance development.
-Insurance: Manufacturers will often cover the cost of treating canine heartworm disease if it can be proved that the pet was on a regular preventive regimen and tested negatively each year for heartworm disease.
Read the attached handouts for more information!
All information and handouts provided by the dvm360 toolkit at dvm360.com