A golden lab looking sad

Dog Heartworm Test

Detecting heartworm disease early generally allows for a faster and more effective response to treatment. Heartworm disease is both treatable and preventable, but it is a serious and deadly disease that shows no signs in its early stage. Testing can ensure that your dog is heartworm free and preventatives are working.

If a dog has heartworms, what symptoms should I look for?

Many dogs infected with heartworm do not show symptoms in the early stages of infection. Symptoms include but are not limited to coughing, exercise intolerance and weight loss.

How does a dog get heartworms?

Dogs get infected when a mosquito carrying heartworm larvae bites them.

What are the treatment options for heartworms?

If your dog tests positive for heartworm, our veterinarians will tailor a protocol to your dog’s case. This may include radiographs, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and a course of injections for an anti-parasite drug.

Why is recovery for heartworm treatment so challenging?

When a parasite is killed, they can travel into the bloodstream, causing cardiovascular compromise. There can also be an inflammatory response in the lungs, causing your pet to have trouble breathing.


dog laying on bed

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Circling around before lying down is likely a residual instinct from when their ancestors lived out in the wilderness. Your dog’s ancestors would have paced in circles to flatten down and warm their sleeping area.

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Last updated: August 3, 2021

Dear Clients,

In order to maintain everyone's safety and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following procedures have been implemented:

If you have a fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, nasal congestion, loss of sense of smell, sore throat, painful swallowing, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, chills, or fever we ask that you do not attend your pet's appointment.

If you have been instructed to self isolate for 14 days due to travel from Eastern Canada, travelled outside of Canada, had contact with someone known to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or are waiting for COVID-19 test results we ask that you do not attend your pet's appointment.


We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 7:30 am - 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sunday: Closed


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at St. Vital Veterinary Hospital