Meet Dyna (A Heartworm Story)

Meet sweet Dyna, our Case of the Week. She’s a nine year old labrador who has been on heartworm prevention her whole life. However, during a routine heartworm test as part of her annual physical in January, Dyna tested positive for heartworms!

This is exactly why our doctors strongly encourage yearly heartworm testing, even for dogs who have been on preventative their whole lives. No preventative has a 100% guarantee, and because heartworms are spread through mosquitos, even… indoor pets are at risk. I’m sure all of you have seen a mosquito inside your house at some point! smile emoticon Waiting to test until a pet “looks sick” isn’t always a reliable indicator either – Dyna’s owners said she never even acted abnormally or gave any indication that something was wrong.

The good news is, because of her testing, Dr. Rode was able to diagnose Dyna and start her on the immiticide treatment she needed. Dyna just finished her second round of overnight treatment here, we are happy to report that she is in good spirits and doing very well!

Treatment for heartworms is far more expensive than the cost of yearly testing and preventative treatment. In fact, if a pet tests positive for heartworms and their owner has been purchasing their heartworm prevention (such as Heartgard) from a veterinarian and administering it at the same time each month, as well as working with their veterinarian for regular yearly heartworm testing, Merial, the company that makes Heartgard, supports the cost of the testing as well as the diagnosis and treatment! They also provide complimentary treatment and provide the owner with complimentary Heartgard for a year!

Heartworm testing is a quick blood draw, and it only takes about 15 minutes to get the results. We can do it during any exam, or even as a walk-in appointment with one of our technicians. Give us a call at 530-666-2461 if you have any questions about heartworm testing for your pet!