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Last updated on Tuesday, March 20, 2012
(BEDFORD) - Heartworm testing for pets will be offered at a reduced rate by Lawrence County veterinarians during the annual heartworm clinic week March 26-31.
Heartworm can be fatal and is expensive to treat, which is why vets recommend annual testing and giving dogs a heartworm preventative.
Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes that carry immature forms of the heartworm from an infected animal to another animal while taking a blood meal.
Spring is the ideal time to check for heartworms, because if a dog was infected last summer, the worms can now be detected in a blood test.
All dogs are at risk of having heartworms, but outside dogs are more vulnerable. Cats are also susceptible to heartworm.
Dr. Jane Chastain of Stonebrook Animal Hospital said her office has seen an increase in heartworm positives. She said 80 percent of the dogs that have tested positive for heartworms in her office have not been on a heartworm preventative. She emphasizes to pet owners the need for testing and preventative medication.
Cost of heartworm tests can vary, so check with your preferred veterinarian for details.
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