Heartworm infections are a serious, yet preventable, medical condition affecting dogs and cats. The worms negatively impact the health of the heart as they grow and multiply. Over time, the worms can number in the hundreds and reach nearly one foot long. Thankfully, you can prevent this.
Heartworm Transmission and Testing
Put quite simply, heartworm larvae enter your pet’s body when an infected mosquito punctures the skin. The larvae quickly enter the bloodstream and end up trapped within the heart muscle. Your vet can test for the presence of heartworms to determine if your pet needs immediate care.
There are many heartworm tests, though the antigen test is most used. The heartworm antigen test detects invaders in the bloodstream to positively identify the presence of these internal parasites. Your doctors may use a different test, or a combination of diagnostic procedures, depending on the unique needs of your pet.