Affairs of the Heart

It’s time to get your heart pumping for the season…heartworm season! Heartworm is a parasite that is making its way through Canada. So far it is most relevant in Ontario and lower parts of Quebec but these wigglers are moving fast. Heartworms can cause big problems with our furry friends. Signs don’t usually present until the worm load on the heart and lungs press into the later stages of the disease. Once at this stage signs can include, exercise intolerance, persistent coughing, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Since the signs that present for heartworm is so similar to signs for many other diseases, we recommend yearly testing to ensure your dog doesn’t have heartworm. It’s a quick and easy blood test and in a lot of cases, it can be paired with testing for other blood diseases and even wellness bloodwork (to look at organ function).

So what do we mean heartworm season?

This is the time of year (from June to November) we are starting our dogs on parasite prevention! It’s better to prevent than to treat for this little bug. Six months of prevention can come in two forms. A chewable tablet or a topical oil. Be sure to check in with your vet to get set up with your prevention!

Visit the Heartworm Society website for more information.

Written by: Aurora Animal Clinic