Heartworm Testing for Pets

Heartworm disease can greatly impact pets’ health, causing lung disease, heart failure and lasting damage to other parts of the body. The disease is spread by heartworms who inhabit furry friends, progressively causing more health complications. It’s important for your pet to have regular heartworm testing to ensure we can detect early signs of the fatal disease.

Why does my pet need heartworm testing?

Since heartworm disease is potentially fatal, it’s important to get your pet tested. In the early stages of the disease, many pets are asymptomatic, which makes it more difficult to diagnose them without a test. If the disease is detected early, we’re can create a treatment plan that will help your pet make a full recovery. Dogs are more likely to have heartworm disease so yearly tests are recommended. If you’d like to schedule a test for your pet or discuss preventative measures you can take against heartworms, please contact us at 403.335.3519.

How is testing performed?

Our expert veterinarians will take a small blood sample from your pet. Heartworms leave traces of protein in your pet’s body detected via the test. If heartworms are detected, we might conduct additional tests to confirm the diagnosis.

What happens if my pet has a positive heartworm test?

Heartworms affect dogs and cats differently so treatment will be individualised for your pet. We will construct a treatment plan that meets your pet’s needs, which might look like medications for dogs or other veterinary care for cats (since there are no cat-approved heartworm diseases treatments). Your pet will receive the best kind of care we can offer them.

How do heartworms affect pets?

Heartworm diseases impact each pet differently. Some pets experience no symptoms in the early stages while others cough, lose their appetite and are extremely tired. If left untreated, heartworm disease can be fatal for pets. Heartworms, like the name suggests, target your pet’s heart as well as other vital organs like the lungs and blood vessels. Heartworm testing is an important measure to protect your pet against health complications.

Last updated: April 5, 2021

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!


  • Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.
  • Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
  • 3. OPERATING HOURS We are OPEN with the following hours:
    Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
    Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Sunday: Closed

    5. NEW PET OWNERS 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.

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

    - The team at Didsbury Veterinary Services