Dog Heartworm Test

Heartworm is a potentially fatal disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. In Saskatchewan, we are very lucky not to have heartworm despite a significant number of mosquitoes that are present during the summer months. Your dog can be exposed to heartworm if you travel to other provinces. Please contact Cumberland Veterinary Clinic if you will be travelling so we can discuss your options for heartworm prevention. The best thing that you can do to prevent heartworm is by using monthly preventative medications which are easily administered at home.

What are the symptoms of heartworm in a dog?

Most dogs will not show symptoms until the infestation is quite advanced. Symptoms can include coughing and exercise intolerance. If the infestation progresses, it can cause serious health issues such as blocking blood flow within the heart.

How do dogs get heartworm?

Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes. When the mosquito bites and infected animal they ingest microscopic baby worms called microfilaria. After a period of 10-14 days, they will mature into larvae which have now reached the infective stage. When the mosquito bites your dog, the larvae can enter your dog’s bloodstream and eventually end up in the heart. It can take up to 6 months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms. The adult worms can live within your dog’s heart for 5 to 7 years which means that the worm burden can worsen each summer through continued exposure.

What are the treatment options for heartworms?

Treatment options depend on several factors such as your dog’s age and the severity of the infestation. The more severe the infestation is, the harder it is to treat and the risk of complications increase. Treatment of heartworm is not something that we deal with regularly due to the lack of heartworm in our province. If your pet has travelled to other provinces and you are concerned that they have contracted heartworm, please contact Cumberland Veterinary Clinic. The first step is to check a heartworm blood test.

Why is recovery and heartworm treatment challenging?

Treating heartworm is challenging since the worms are residing in the heart. Heartworm treatment requires frequent visits to the clinic and regular follow up. If your dog has tested positive for heartworm, please contact us to discuss your options for treatment.

Went here as my vet was out of town and I need to bring my dog in to be checked…

Haley Rodman

We had to euthanise our dog and the staff at the clinic were amazing. They were compassionate and kind, and…

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Fantastic vet clinic. Vet was very thorough with explaining things to me.


Cumberland Vet is a super vet clinic! They look after both our dogs and cats, and have for years.…

Deanna Valentine

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Prepare for Poison Prevention Week!

Safety proofing your house for a four-legged friend is essential and knowing what to look out for is critical! Protecting your animal should be a high priority and isn’t as easy as it may seem as some common foods can be toxic to our furry friends! There are many things not toxic to us, but are to the canine and felines we love! Can you name any of them?Common Food Hazards1. Chocolate is at the top of the list! This one is difficult to avoid around many times of the year. Especially Easter which is right around the corner, be careful with those chocolate egg hunts! Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine which can cause toxicosis, seizures and possible death. 2. Coffee is another common household item that contains caffeine. This creates a toxic danger to your pet if consumed similar to chocolate. 3. Who doesn’t love grapes or raisins?! Be careful with these around your furry friends though; do not share these delicious snacks! If consumed it can cause acute renal failure in your little friends. 4. Macadamia nuts are a surprising one! Keep an eye on your baking! 5.  Onions are another common concern in the household.  If these are ingested, blood cells are targeted, killed and result in a condition called Heinz Body Anemia, which could be life-threatening. Even a little onion powder can have this effect. 6. In large quantities, garlic can be harmful as well. 7. Alcohol has effects on our bodies as well as our furry friends. Liver and kidney damage can occur, as well as possible acidosis, which can lead to cardiac arrest. 8. Avocados have a big centre seed, which provides a potential choking hazard for your dog. 9. Chicken bones or other kinds of bones cause issues. Bones can splinter and harm your animal. Cooked bones are also hazardous and can be brittle. 10. Raw meat can pose some problems like salmonella and bacterial poisoning. We recommend deworming regularly if feeding any kind of raw diet to protect our pets.Human Pharmaceutical Hazards1. Acetaminophen found in Tylenol can interfere with oxygen flow, and harm the liver of our dear friends. Other human drugs can also have negative effects. Consult your veterinarian before using any human pharmaceuticals for your animals. 2. Also be careful with your veterinary medicines! They are often flavoured and animals can be drawn to that. Keep secure and out of reach. They can overdose on these, just like we can!Chemical Hazards1. Insecticides 2. Rodenticides 3. Cleaning products 4. Heavy metals 5. Fertilizer 6. Detergents 7. Antifreeze 8. De-icersOther Hazards1. Batteries cause mouth ulcers, as well as throat and stomach issues. 2. Children’s toys! Small parts can be dangerous if swallowed and/or lodged in your animals’ throat. Resulting in a veterinary visit! 3. Fabric softener sheets 4. Plants 5. Some rawhide dog chews can host bacteria such as Salmonella. Keep an eye on how these are stored, used and monitor your pet while chewing on bones or chews of any kind.Ways to Prevent Your Animal Access1. Keep these items in high, unreachable places and childproof cabinets. 2. Keep items in sealed containers. 3. When having guests over be sure to keep food out of reach. 4. Warn visitors of your rules of feeding your animals. 5. Follow instructions for bug and rodent traps. Try your best to keep them away from places your pet may be able to access. 6. Keep an eye out for any spills of chemicals and clean readily. 7. Invest in household cleaners that are pet-friendly.If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to contact your veterinary clinic for advice! ASPCA has a 24-hour poison control help line as well. Material Safety Data Sheets are also a valuable resource if any concerns appear!

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