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Canine Heartworm Infection (Dilofilaria immitis)

Did you know that there are, on average, fifty cases of heartworm infections diagnosed each year in Québec?

Mosquitoes transmit this disease during the warm season. The larvae injected into the animal develop into worms that live in the heart and can cause potentially fatal obstruction of the heart vessels as well as heart failure.

The animal hosts for this disease are mainly coyotes and unprotected dogs.

For these reasons, we recommend adequate heartworm protection for all dogs during the mosquito season. The prescribed medication should be given on a monthly basis from June to November every year. Heartworm testing should also be done every year. This blood test can detect the presence of adult heartworms in an animal, which will allow  us to treat an infested dog before clinical signs become apparent thus improving the outcome.

All medications used to prevent heartworm infections are also efficient in the control of intestinal worms, which that are present in 25% of dogs throughout summer. Certain products also protect against fleas and mites.

Discuss the different options with your veterinarian to find the best medication for your pet and enjoy a parasite-free summer with your companion!

Dr Julie Gauthier-D., m.v.

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