Heartworm Testing for Pets

Heartworm testing allows us to determine if your pet has these creepy crawlies. Heartworms can be harmful to our furry friends. Especially for dogs living in regions with high concentration of heartworms, there’s almost a 100% prevalence rate. Though they used to be rare for cats, heartworms are more common in cats now. Heartworm testing is the only way to confirm if your pet has an infection.

My pet already takes preventatives. Why do they need heartworm testing?

Even if your pet is given them, regular heartworm testing during checkups are the only way to ensure they’re heartworm-free. No preventive medication works perfectly, especially if your pet misses a dose or isn’t given their preventive medication on time. For dogs, a routine blood test can detect heartworms. If a dog is given preventives while they have a heartworm infection, the outcome could be fatal. For cats, our veterinary team might need to perform a few different tests to diagnose heartworms. Blood tests aren’t usually a good indication of a heartworm infection of cats because they tend to have a negative test.

How are heartworms transmitted?

Heartworms are transmitted via mosquitoes. The mosquito injects small eggs into your pet, which develop into adult worms that can grow up to 18 inches. The worms live in your pet’s heart. For dogs, early symptoms include coughing but get progressively worse to include heart failure, weight loss and unfortunately, death. Symptoms manifest differently in cats, including coughing, vomiting and death.

How can I protect my pet against heartworms?

In addition to heartworm testing, we recommend your pet using a monthly preventative. Treating heartworms is extremely expensive and could cause your canine friend lots of pain. For cats, there is no treatment for heartworms currently. In this case, prevention is far more effective than trying to cure an infection. We have several excellent medications we can recommend to prevent heartworms, if they’re taken as directed. Though most medications are taken orally, there are topical and injectable options. Please schedule an appointment with our veterinarians by contacting us at 604.544.7387 to discuss which preventative medication is best for your pet.


The Do’s and Don'ts of Pet Summer Safety

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Last updated: September 22, 2022.

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your pet.

Note: If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms, please let us know when you book your pet’s appointment. As the potential to spread to pets is still relatively unknown, it is possible that your pet could create a risk to other people who may be handling him or her.

1. WE CAN SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!


  • We kindly request that clients continue to wear masks in our hospital for employee and public safety.
  • If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Payment can be processed over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.
    We are OPEN with the following hours:
    Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 6:30 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Sunday: CLOSED

    Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

    In these uncertain times, please see the below link for the most recent information for the public on COVID-19 and animals from the Government of Canada (specifically the Canadian Food Inspection Agency). https://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/

    Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone’s safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

    - Your dedicated team at Queen’s Park Pet Hospital