We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

Sad Husky with Heartworm Disease

Dog Heartworm Test

Heartworm disease is becoming more prevalent in the Chatham-Kent area. It is a parasitic infection of the bloodstream and heart that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworm disease can be fatal if untreated. Luckily, we can test in-house easily by taking a small blood sample. We recommend doing so yearly. This test also will detect the evidence of some tick-borne diseases.

If a dog has heartworms, what symptoms should I look for?

Some dogs in the early stages of heartworm infection may not show any signs at all. More advanced stages of heartworm infection can cause coughing, lethargy or exercise intolerance. Testing for the presence of heartworm disease and appropriate treatment in the early stages can help prevent symptoms from occurring.

How does a dog get heartworms?

Heartworm infection occurs when a mosquito is carrying the heartworm larvae. The mosquito will bite an infected dog. When the mosquito lands and feeds on the next dog, the larvae are then transmitted.

What are the treatment options for heartworms?

Prevention of heartworm is key. If treatment is needed for a dog that is heartworm positive, there is only one medication that is available to treat for heartworm disease effectively. The treatment of heartworm disease is a long and difficult course of treatment.

Why is recovery for heartworm treatment so challenging?

The parasitic infection can cause great strain on the body as well as the medication, which can cause anaphylactic reactions. It is highly recommended to reduce all strenuous activities for your dog, which may be challenging for our furry friends. Overactivity can cause stress on the heart, which could cause problems with breathing or even death.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 519.360.4508. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm & Saturday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Merritt Location Only) and Sunday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm (Merritt Location Only). The Dresden location also remains open. Effective Wednesday, March 25, the Sydenham River location will be temporarily closed until further notice. Merritt and Dresden remain open for your pet care, food, and medication pick up needs.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 5-7 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are still accepting cash as payment. However, credit cards and debit card payments are preferred if possible.

6. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your D.M.S Group Veterinary Team