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You administer heartworm preventative that was purchased from a reputable source (your veterinarian!) every month without fail. So why on Earth do they insist that you test your dog on an annual basis?

Here are some interesting facts to consider in the case for routine testing:

  • No medication on the market today provides 100% protection. Granted, they are very close, however if your pet is one of the unlucky few that contracts heartworm disease while on preventative, you need to know.
  • No one is perfect. Sometimes you may be a little late giving the preventative, or your dog may not swallow his heartworm pill. Maybe he gets sick out in the yard shortly after administration, vomiting up his protection. Lapses in treatment happen.
  • It is for your pet’s safety. Many heartworm preventatives can actually be harmful if a pet is infected. How terrible would you feel if your pet had a serious reaction that could have been prevented with a simple blood test?
  • Early detection is critical. Heartworm disease is one of those diseases that often have no clinical signs until it is in the advanced stages. If your pet has heartworms, detecting the infection early in the process can prevent irreversible damage to the heart and lungs.

These are some very compelling reasons to test your dog annually, even if it may seem like an unnecessary test on the surface. By complying with recommendations to test your dog annually, you are looking out for your pet’s best interest.