Years after years, we are asked the same question by dog owners. Why should we test our dog for heartworm, especially if it was on preventative medication the previous year? Here is a variation of an article that was published online early April.
The infamous blood test can identify adult heartworm. While the preventatives are excellent, and extremely effective (nearly 100 percent), they are not perfect. More likely than product failure, is human error. People may forget to give the product. Or the chewable may not be swallowed, and instead dropped behind the sofa. Also, people don’t always apply the topical product correctly. It happens, it really does…
Still, why are veterinarians so adamant about the heartworm test?
It’s possible that if a heartworm preventative is given to a dog with heartworm disease, there could be a serious reaction due to the rapid killing of circulating baby heartworm in the blood stream. Also, a dog with heartworm must be treated, and early identification makes it easier to treat (with fewer side affects), less expensive to treat, and there’s less suffering for the dog.
What about other parasites?
With the nice weather, intestinal parasites (worms) and fleas are also in return. Fortunately, a lot of heartworm preventatives also protect your dogs against main intestinal parasites and fleas. So 3 in 1!
Keep in mind that protecting your dogs and cats against parasites also protects your family against them, since some of them can be transmitted to children and adults.
Protect your pets and your family!