Heartworm Testing for Dogs 

Heartworms can be harmful to your pet’s overall health and can be fatal in some cases, if not diagnosed early. Heartworm testing is the main way we can confirm if your pet has an infection. By diagnosing your pet, we’re able to decide a course of action to treat your furry friend.

How do you test pets for heartworms?

Our veterinary team will take a blood sample to test for heartworms. After a mosquito bites your pet, the larvae grow into adult heartworms. They leave traces of protein in your pet’s blood. These traces help us detect infections. Our in-clinic laboratory helps us to perform the blood analysis on-site and get the results back to you as soon as possible. We might also use an X-ray or ultrasound to detect heartworms. With heartworms, it is important to detect them early to help us create an effective treatment plan for your pet. If you have questions about your pet’s heartworm test, please contact us at 403.337.3221.

Why should my pet get tested for heartworms?

Heartworm testing allows us to detect infections at an early stage, which makes our treatment more effective. Generally, we recommend heartworm testing at least once a year. Though canine friends are more likely to have heartworms than cats, it’s still important to have them tested regularly. Since heartworms are harder to treat in cats, early detection helps us to create a treatment plan that best suits their needs. We may also do testing before your pet starts a preventive, lives in an area with a high level of infections or if their owner forgot to give them the latest dose of their preventive.

What are the signs of heartworms in pets?

Depending on factors like how many heartworms your pet is infected with and how long the infection persists, the symptoms might worsen. In the early stages, infected pets might not show symptoms but signs to look out for are:

  • Continuous coughing
  • Extreme tiredness after being active
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite

  • Last updated: July 27, 2021

    Dear Clients,

    With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

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


  • Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.
  • Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication.
  • 3. NEW PET OWNERS Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

    4. OPERATING HOURS We are OPEN with the following hours:
    Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Sunday: CLOSED

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at Carstairs Veterinary Clinic