Heartworm Testing

At Animal Hospital of Onslow County, we recommend annual testing for heartworms as well as a preventive treatment program. We can test for the presence of heartworms quickly, easily and economically. The best protocol is to have your pets tested when they are young and then start them on a preventive treatment that you can maintain for the rest of their lives. Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that can affect indoor and outdoor companion pets. Heartworm larvae are transmitted to healthy animals by mosquitoes that have bitten infected animals. Heartworms exist in all 50 states, but they are most prevalent in warm climates with stable bodies of water. This means that companion pet owners in the communities of Jacksonville, Mayville, and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina need to protect their pets year round with preventive heartworm treatment.

Without the protection provided by a preventive treatment program, heartworms can enter your pet’s bloodstream, settle in the heart chambers, and grow up to 12 inches in length. They spread to the large arteries of the body and affect your pet's cardiovascular health. There are few, if any, early signs of heartworm disease in dogs and cats. Heartworm positive dogs will eventually experience difficulty breathing and decreased physical activity.

If your dog’s test results come back negative, then our veterinarians will start your dog on the appropriate preventive treatment that you will need to administer year-round for the rest of the animal’s life. These preventive medications come in several forms, including injections, topical applications and tasty treats.

If you haven’t had your companion pet tested for heartworms, schedule an appointment today at Animal Hospital of Onslow County. Our doctors and staff will work with you to determine the best heartworm preventative based on your pet’s individual lifestyle.