Heartworm Testing for Pets

Heartworm disease has negative effects on your pet’s health, including causing complications like lung disease, heart disease and damage to other organs. Adult heartworms live in your pet’s hearts, lungs or blood vessels and can grow to at least one foot long. Heartworm testing is important for your pet because the effects of heartworm disease are life-threatening and harmful to their overall health.

How does it affect canine friends?

Heartworms enjoy living inside dogs because they’re natural hosts. They can often live an entire lifecycle inside your pup, maturing into adult worms before mating and multiplying. Imagine your dog hosting hundreds of unwanted guests inside them at a time! If left untreated, heartworms can cause long term, irreparable damage to your pet and affects their ability to live their best life. Though medication is available to treat heartworm disease, prevention is better than cure. So, it’s important to have your pet on a preventive medication, if they’re not already.

How does it affect feline friends?

Heartworms aren’t as fond of your cat’s hosting abilities. Most don’t live long enough inside them to become mature adult worms. Though they are not typical hosts, this doesn’t mean your pet is immune from an infection. Even though they might not be fully developed inside your cat, they can still cause serious damage to their internal systems, including Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD), a lung condition. Since heartworm disease medication isn’t currently available for cats, the best way to protect them is with the help of preventive medication.

When do you recommend testing?

All pets should be heartworm tested before starting preventive medication. A negative result means you can safely start your pet’s oral or topical medication. Also, our veterinary team might recommend testing if your pet is experiencing symptoms like tiredness, constant coughing, loss of appetite and shying away from exercise. One thing to note is signs might not manifest in the early stages of the disease so keep an eye out over time and share any differences you are noticing in your pet. If you have questions or concerns about testing, please contact our team at 519.624.9760.

Pet Education

What is Heartworm?

Heartworm is a blood parasite that poses severe health risks to pets in Ontario. Heartworms live in the heart and the blood vessels that supply the lungs.

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Dear Clients,

The team at Animal Hospital of Cambridge would like to take a moment and thank you for your loyalty. We know the last couple of years have not been simple as we've worked throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic, so we thank you for your patience and support. As always, your veterinary care team has your best interests in mind, which is why we're announcing the fall & winter protocol throughout the remainder of this page. This protocol takes effect as of Nov. 1st 2021, so please read carefully.

Fall & Winter Protocol

We will proceed with certain restrictions in order to help prevent infections (of COVID-19) combined with the fall/winter flu season ahead. AHOC has decided to make a limited public entry into the hospital in an effort to reduce the risk of the virus being spread. All clients must wear a face mask properly when entering our hospital. Please use the hand sanitizer stations provided. For any clients who can not mask, we can still serve you with curb-side care protocols.

We will limit the quantity of people internally in the following ways:

  • 4 People max will be permitted to enter the doors to the right for food and prescription pick ups
  • 1 Person and 1 pet will enter the doors to the left when directed by staff and be allowed into the designated, sanitized exam room for VET appointments only
  • Appointments like nails trims, blood collection, weigh-ins, and anal gland expression will continue to be curb-side care

  • Walk-in For Food & Prescription Pick ups

    For those people just stopping by to pick up food or prescriptions you may enter without phoning. We ask you to abide by our 4 people max protocol which will allow for social distancing. 2 people being served and 2 people waiting. You will see blue floor markers to aid with social distancing guidelines. Please line up out the door to the right if there are already 4 people in our lobby.

    Phone When You Arrive For Your Pet's Appointment

    We will be asking you to call in at 519.624.9760 when you arrive for your appointment. Our customer service representatives or Registered Vet Tech's will ask you about your pet and for your cell number so that we can direct you with next steps for your appointment type. We may need you to wait in your car for a moment while we prepare/sanitize the exam room for your appointment with the Veterinarian. We will ask you to fill out our COVID screening consent form once you are inside the exam room. All clients should remain inside the exam room for the duration of their pets appointment.

    Non-Vet Appointments = Curb-side Protocol

    Once we have confirmed with you what needs to be done for your pet we will ask you to release your pet into our main entrance (vestibule), where one of our staff members will bring your pet inside for their procedure while you wait in your car (please let us know if you arrive by taxi or public transit). We will call you when we are finished and may process your payment over the phone upon discharge, or if our lobby is free, you can come pay inside.

    Do We Have Your Email on File?

    Please continue to phone us to book your appointment 519.624.9760. Please make sure we have a current email on file for you. It is important for us to have a secondary line of communication with you. Having an email on file is essential for you to receive important communications like: vaccine reminders, newsletters, information about pet product recalls, and other special handouts your veterinarian may wish to share with you as it relates to your pets health.

    Additionally, our internal efforts to keep phone lines open by our support staff & Veterinarians means they may call you from one of our internal cell phones, which will read "private number." Please be sure to answer the call when they call.

    Ordering Pet Food and Prescription Refills

    If you would like to pre-order pet food and/or ask for a prescription refill, you may do so by sending an email to ahoc.orderdesk@gmail.com. Please make sure to provide your full name, pet's name, the item you are requesting (please specify quantity or size) and the phone number we have your file listed under. We will process your order within 24-48 hours (emails are checked Monday to Friday) and will notify you when your order is ready.

    Once again, we thank you for your patience & support as we navigate this fluid situation. If you have any questions, send an email to info@ahoc-ph.com.


    Animal Hospital of Cambridge