Why You Need to Get Your Dog Checked for Heartworms Every Year

Antigen heartworm test

It is hard to imagine a better companion sometimes than our dogs. They are by our sides when things go well and give us comfort when things go wrong. For many, their dog is not just like family; their dog is family. If that is the case in your household, then you already know how important it can be to protect your dog from heartworms.

Veterinary clinical diagnostics has shown over the years how devastating a case of heartworms can be to a dog, no matter how old. It has become standard practice over the years to give dogs a heartworm antigen test to detect specific heartworm proteins.

These specific heartworm proteins are called antigens and are released by the adult female heartworms into the bloodstream of your beloved pet. Most of the time, these tests can detect infections that contain one or more adult female heartworm.

Somewhere between 70 and 80 million dogs are owned across and throughout the United States, and roughly 1 million of them are estimated to be positive for heartworms every year. The advances that have been made in veterinary clinical diagnostics have helped save the lives of countless dogs and other animals from the devastating effects of heartworm disease.

Almost every veterinarian you go to will be able to use a heartworm test kit to see if your pup has contracted worms. Veterinary clinical diagnostics can easily determine whether they are present in your dog or not. If they are, treatment can be applied to kill them.

If they are not present, the doctor will recommend a preventative pill be taken to kill the worms that might have gone undiscovered and will eventually grow into full-grown problems. Heartworm treatment can cost around $1,000, so going the preventative route could really save you a great deal of money in the end.

If you have been taking the monthly preventative route with your dog regarding heartworms treatment, it is still the best idea to get your dog tested annually. One of the main reasons is that your dog might have heartworms but not yet be showing signs of the disease.

Veterinary clinical diagnostics can detect the disease and treat it before your dog even knows what’s going on. If heartworms can be detected before any signs are showing, it is much safer for your pet than if you wait until they become sick. The same medicines are going to be used but, like humans, they will be able to fight off the side effects much more easily if you catch it early.

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