651-224-3038   •   1140 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

News: Heartworm Testing for Dogs

May 15, 2018

At Grand Avenue Veterinary Center, we strive to keep our recommendations for your pets’ preventative care up to date with best practices. We have recently reviewed our recommendations for heartworm testing in dogs and have decided to make a change from every other year to yearly testing for heartworm disease in dogs. This decision has been made based on the following:

  1. The American Heartworm Society recommends annual testing for all dogs
  2. More and more dogs are being pulled from shelters in the Southern US, where heartworm disease is much more common, and transported to our area for adoption. Not only are we seeing more heartworm cases in these dogs, but until they are diagnosed and treated they serve as a reservoir of infection for other dogs.  (You can read more about heartworm disease itself in this post for more information.)
  3.  Although symptoms and damage of heartworm disease take some time to develop, delaying proper treatment for potentially an entire year can significantly change the prognosis and outcome for an infected dog, and we don’t want any patients to slip through the cracks.
  4. Heartworm preventative manufacturers typically guarantee their product and will reimburse owners for a portion of the costs associated with diagnosing and treating a heartworm infection that develops while a dog is taking monthly preventative. However, to get the full benefit they require yearly testing.

As always, if you have questions about our recommendations or policies, please feel free to contact the clinic and speak to one of our technicians or doctors.

-Karen Christopherson, DVM

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