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.

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heartworm-test

Dog Heartworm Test

Heartworm disease occurs when a dog or cat is infected at a high enough burden by a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis, leading to heart failure. Heartworm is acquired by a mosquito containing an infective larvae biting and depositing the larvae into the animal. It takes approximately 5-7 months for these larvae to develop into adult heartworms within the body. They tend to migrate and live within the pulmonary artery (the artery leading from the heart to the lungs).

What are the symptoms of heartworm in a dog?

Symptoms of heartworm disease include, but are not limited to coughing, exercise intolerance, inappetence, difficulties breathing, elevated respiratory rate, lethargy. In some cases, we may even see heartworm in asymptomatic dogs, meaning they have no clinical signs. This may be the case if there is a low number of worms.

How do dogs get heartworm?

Dogs contract heartworm through the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquito carries the larvae and injects it into our pets.

What are the treatment options for heartworm?

The recommended treatment for heartworm consists of a medication that kills the adult worms. This is administered over a series of 3 deep intramuscular injections. In severe life-threatening cases, it may be recommended to remove the worms surgically if they are obstructing the heart and vessels.

Why is recovery and heartworm treatment challenging to treat?

Heartworm treatment is challenging for a few reasons. The treatment itself is risky and can lead to clot formation and blockage of blood vessels as the adult worms die. This can lead to heart failure, respiratory arrest and death. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that dogs are exercise restricted during treatment. As well, the treatment and follow up can be costly.

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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 Monday, March 23, 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 416-752-5114. 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. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

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. We are also no longer taking grooming appointments as of Monday, March 30, until further notice.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Friday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 7-10 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 not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

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 dedicated team at McLean Animal Hospital