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How does a heartworm test work?

The test requires just a small blood sample from your pet, and it works by detecting the presence of heartworm proteins. Some veterinarians process heartworm tests right in their hospitals while others send the samples to a diagnostic laboratory. In either case, results are obtained quickly.

What kind of test do you use to test for heartworm? There are two main tests for detecting heartworm infection; one test detects adult worms and the other detects microfilariae. Testing for Adult Worms: The American Heartworm Society recommends using the Heartworm Antigen Test as the primary method of testing for adult heartworm infection. This test is specific for adult female heartworms.

How can I tell if my dog has heartworms? By identifying certain antigens that are found in adult female heartworms, researchers have developed tests that can detect these antigens to tell if a dog is infected with adult heartworms. Many veterinarians use a rapid-result test called a “SNAP” test to diagnose heartworm disease in dogs.

Do you have to pay for a heartworm test? Many pharmaceutical companies will pay for the treatment of heartworms, but require an outside, independent laboratory to confirm a positive heartworm test. Although TVMDL serves in a confirmatory role for most antigen heartworm tests, the agency typically conducts initial testing for the heartworm antibody test in felines.

What’s the best way to treat a heartworm infection? Once a positive test is confirmed, our veterinarians (in alignment with the American Heartworm Society) recommend treating adult heartworm infections with 3 treatments (injections) of a drug called melarsomine. This treatment kills the adult heartworms quickly and reduces the amount of damage that they do to the heart and lungs.

What are signs of heartworm?

What are signs of heartworm? “Signs of heartworm disease are a soft, dry cough, shortness of breath… and loss of stamina.” The most obvious clinical signs of heartworm disease are a soft, dry cough, shortness of breath, weakness, nervousness, listlessness and loss of stamina.

Is heartworm test necessary? Heartworm testing is necessary as some of the heartworm preventions can cause a severe allergic reaction in your pet if they have heartworms. Testing is recommended twice a year but is usually required once a year for the purchase of heartworm prevention.

Are heartworms treatable? The safest way to treat heartworms includes an extensive pre-treatment workup, including X-rays, blood work, and all the tests needed to establish how serious the infection is. Then the dog is given the injections.

Do I need to test my dog for heartworms every year? Dogs can be infected with heartworm disease easily, so annual heartworm testing is recommended. Generally, dogs who get their heartworm prevention on time don’t get heartworms. But you should test them annually anyway.