We have really enjoyed having Rachel working with us. Rachel has been studying for the past 2 years to become a veterinary technician. As part of their training, technician students must attend a placement for a minimum of 40 hours before graduating in order to gain valuable hands-on experience. Instead of the usual 4 week placement before graduation, Rachel has been with us one day a week during each of her semesters. She just finished a two week stretch and now it’s on to exams. While she was here she assisted with X-rays, drawing blood samples, anesthesia, nursing and lab work. She was also Parker’s primary care giver. She did an awesome job with him giving him the daily support care that he needs.
When testing your pet’s blood for heartworm, using the Idexx Snap 4DX we also test for 5 tick borne diseases including Lyme disease, 2 types of Anaplasma and 2 types of Ehrlichia.
These diseases can cause a variety of clinical signs including fever, arthritis, kidney failure, anemia and bleeding disorders. The scary thing about these is that they are zoonotic which means they can also cause disease in humans. The good news is we can run the test during the appointment so you will have the results before you go home.
We have numerous options for prevention this year. Bravecto and NexGard are administered orally, and we have several choices of topical preventions as well. All of these products kill fleas and ticks and some prevent heartworm disease as well.
Please feel free to contact our staff by email or phone to book an appointment for your pet’s blood test. We’ll be happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding the products that are available and help you select the one that’s right for you and your pet.
When they bite, mosquitoes can transmit heartworm infection, and those heartworms can wreak havoc on your dog or cat. These parasites can severely and sometimes fatally damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Some pets may not show any signs of infection; in those that do, symptoms can vary widely.
In dogs, signs of heartworm disease can range from coughing, fatigue, and weight loss to difficulty breathing and a swollen abdomen (caused by fluid accumulation from heart failure). Canine heartworm infection can also lead to a life-threatening complication called “caval syndrome” (a form of liver failure); without prompt surgical intervention, this condition usually causes death.
Although often thought to not be susceptible to heartworm infection, cats can indeed get heartworms. Cats can suffer from a syndrome referred to as heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARD); the symptoms can be subtle and may mimic those of asthma or allergic bronchitis. Signs of respiratory distress, such as rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, and panting, are common. Other symptoms include coughing, vomiting (typically unrelated to eating), and loss of appetite or weight. Heartworm infection is more difficult to diagnose in cats than it is in dogs.
Treatment for heartworm infection is far more expensive than prevention—and it can actually kill your dog. There is no approved treatment for cats. Some cats spontaneously rid themselves of the infection; others might not survive it. And even one or two adult heartworms in a cat can cause serious problems.
Fortunately, there’s a way to keep your pets safe: by administering monthly heartworm preventives. Most heartworm medications also protect your pet against other parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, ear mites, fleas, and ticks. There are many products available nowadays, so please contact the clinic for more information,