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.


Holiday Hours for 2020

The holidays are fast approaching! Please keep in mind our holiday hours outlined below:

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Last updated: July 23, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we can continue providing our full range of services, under certain restrictions. As our province enters the next phase of the reopening plan, we have some updates to share with you about our safety measures.

We will now see all cases by appointment only including pets in need of vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, parasite prevention, and more.

Beginning June 29, 2020, clients are able to come into the hospital with their pets with the following restrictions:



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


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.


Merritt Animal Hospital:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Dresden Veterinary Clinic:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sunday: Closed

Sydenham River Veterinary Office:
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your D.M.S Group Veterinary Team