Heartworm Disease

Annual Heartworm Testing

Heartworm testing is in integral part of any effective heartworm prevention program. Healthy Pets requires a current (within the last 12-months) heartworm test to dispense prescription heartworm preventative products. Other than annual testing pets should receive a heartworm test as follows:

  • When a pet is 6 months of age, or older, and is not currently on a heartworm preventative
    • Test before placing on heartworm preventative
    • Test 6 months* later
  • When pet has been off of heartworm preventative for longer than 3-months
    • Test before placing back on heartworm preventative
    • Test 6 months* later
  • When heartworm preventative name brands are changed **
    • Test when products are changed
    • Test 6 months* later

* From the time a heartworm microfilariae is deposited in your pet’s blood stream until an adult heartworm infestation is detectable takes approximately 6-months
** The “Heartworm Preventative Guarantee” that most heartworm preventative manufacturers offer may be invalidated if a heartworm test is not performed when their medication is started and then 6 months later

Heartworm/4DX Test

The Heartworm/4DX test is a blood screening for Heartworm disease, Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. A Healthy Pets MVS representative will draw a small amount of blood from your dog and submit it to a national laboratory the following week. You will receive your test results, as well as recommendations for follow up care (if needed) the week following the blood draw. Healthy Pets MVS recommends the Heartworm/4DX test over the Heartworm-only test for more comprehensive disease and infection screening if your pet has a risk of exposure to ticks.

Heartworm disease can be prevented with a monthly heartworm prevention product. While there is no full-proof method of preventing Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis, these can be discouraged by keeping your pet on a regular anti-tick preventative.