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Heartworm Test for Dogs

What are heartworm tests for dogs?

The purpose of a heartworm test is to see if there is any evidence of the parasite called Dirofilaria immitis, which is normally known as a heartworm. Heartworms are found in the dog’s bloodstream, this test should be done on any dog that shows signs of heartworm disease. These signs could be coughing, weight loss, and hard breathing. You can read below for more information on heartworm tests for dogs by the Experts.

My dog has become very lethargic can this be heartworms?

A major symptom of heartworms is coughing, with that beings said not every time your dog coughs does this mean that the dog has heartworms. There can are several thing that can cause your dog to cough such as kennel cough, lung disease, or even the dogs trachea collapsing due to airway problems. The best thing you can do for your dog is to take it to a Veterinarian and have the dog tested for heartworms. There are treatments for heartworms, the normal cost for treatment is anywhere from 400 to 800 dollars, this all depends on the type of test that is done. As of right now the symptom you described does not indicate that your dog would have heartworms.

What are the chances of my dog having heartworms if on a heartworm medication regularly? My dog does have an unusual cough.

It is great that you regularly treat your dog for heartworms, with that being said it is almost impossible for your dog to get heartworms while being treated for the heartworms. Most likely you might want to be concerned more about kennel cough an infectious cough, tracheal irritation or even tracheal collapse. If your dog seems fine other than the cough then your dog should be safe until you can get the dog into a vet. If the dog worsen then you might need to take the dog to an emergency clinic and may even need chest X-rays.

If an individual that lives in Michigan and has not given their dog their interceptor pill in about 5 months, if the individual starts their dog on this medication again, could there be a problem?

In most cases, the chance of an animal being diagnosed in Michigan is unlikely compared to other states that are located in the south. So, in many cases, the dog may not develop heartworms again if the dog has not been given their medicine during the 5 months. However, in the case the dog was infected with heartworms during those 5 months, it may be recommended that the pet owner have a heartworm test done. This may take 6 to 7 months for the test to read positive one the dog has been infected with the heartworm disease. With this being said, it is believed to be okay for pet owners to give their animals Interceptor, but the animal will need a heartworm test completed in 6 months to be sure that the heartworm disease is present.

Should an individual continue giving their dog Interceptor before the individual has tested their dog for heartworms? If the individual does give their dog Interceptor could this kill the dog if the dog has heartworms?

In many cases, this can be true that if the dog has tested positive for heartworms and the pet owner continues to administer Interceptor, the animal could have a reaction that could put the animal’s life at risk and cause complications. Interceptor does not always make animals sick, and cause health issues. Interceptor is the main used medication to treat and prevent heartworms in dogs. However, if the individual has continued on a regular basis of providing this medication to their dog every month, then the heartworm test may not be necessary.

Often pet owners when adopting or buying a new dog are not aware of the many diseases a dog can get. Heartworms are a very common disease that is seen in many cases. However, heartworms can be prevented with the right information and the right medication that is given by a vet. When a dog may be acting different, not wanting to eat, drink or just doesn’t seem like the family dog anymore, it is wise to have your dog seen by a vet. Not only can heartworms be prevents, but heartworms can be treated as well. When your dog has been diagnosed with heartworms, many questions seem to arise. For more information pertaining to heartworms in dogs, and the treatments for heartworms in dogs, contact the thousands of available Experts for fast and reliable answers.

Ask a Dog Veterinarian

Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4081
Experience:  Over 12 years of clinical veterinary experience
11664588
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
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3 Dog Veterinarians are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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    Rate the answer you receive.

Dog Veterinarians are online & ready to help you now

Ron
ASE Certified Technician
Satisfied Customers: 21594
23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
Dr. Y.
Urologist
Satisfied Customers: 18601
I am fellowship trained specializing in general urology and reconstructive urology.
John
Home Appliance Technician
Satisfied Customers: 13453
Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.

Recent Heartworm Questions

  • Hello, Dr. Peter.... My dog's left eye is bulging slightly

    Hello, Dr. Peter....
    My dog's left eye is bulging slightly and he has a hard lump - the size of a golf ball - above it. I noticed the bulging two days ago. It was the day after I gave him his heartworm medicine, if that means anything....
    I'd be greatly appreciative of any insight you can provide.
    Thank you,
    Marianne
  • We have a 9 yr old beagle. We have used only Heartgard since he was a puppy. We usually gi

    We have a 9 yr old beagle. We have used only Heartgard since he was a puppy. We usually give it to him after his evening meal. Occaisioanlly he will throw it back up, which he did yesterday afternoon, approximately 16 hours after his previous evening meal. It was just a mucousy/bile type of vomit, not a lot, but about 2/3 of his undigested Heartgard was in there as well. He did this out side on the patio and I left it there because the last time this happened a few months ago, he threw up inside, and I left it where it was, and a little later, he went back and ate it. Whatever was left on the patio is gone now, but we have no way of knowing whether he ate it or a neighboring cat or other critter or bird might have found it. So now we are wondering whether to give him another dose, cut it up in tiny pieces and add it to his evening meal or look for another type of worm protection.
  • We have a 4.5 yo female black lab. Sunday she suddenly couldn't

    We have a 4.5 yo female black lab. Sunday she suddenly couldn't get up from laying down. her hind legs weren't working. With help to the standing position she could then walk, but very slowly and lethargic. Almost like she was walking on eggshells. Took her immediately to the vet Mon. a.m., still struggling to stand or get up unassisted. Vet did a CBC, she had a temp--like 103 or 104. still wags her tail like she's happy but just can't walk. I never know how much pain she's really in. CBC all came back normal. sent home with anti inflammatory. Started to lose appetite by Wed. morning. Called vet, took her back in. Fluid building in her hind legs, around her knee and down. they observed her all day and put her on an antibiotic. Re-ran CBC test, al still normal. Lyme's disease negative. Heartworm test negative. She will get up on her own but still very stiff and slow walking. been on antibiotic for 24 hrs tomorrow morning (it's Thursday now) and not much help. Swelling still VERY noticeable in back legs. Any ideas what this could be?
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