Why Should I do a Heartworm Test on My Dog?

  1. If you weren’t 100% at giving your dog’s heartworm prevention EVERY month the previous year; then there IS potential your dog could have contracted heartworm!

Small Fact: Heartworm is spread through mosquitos. Any time the weather is above 21 degrees Celsius for longer than 21 days, transmission of heartworm through the bite of a mosquito is possible!  This typically occurs from May to October.  Heartworm does not show up on heartworm screening tests until 6 months after exposure.   This is why we test in early spring the following year to capture any exposure during times of not being protected from the previous year.


  1. It also tests for Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases!

Small Fact:  Our heartworm tests, also called 4DX tests, have the bonus of not only testing for heartworm disease but tick borne diseases as well!  Ticks are on the rise and are of large concern to both humans and dogs!   They do not only possess the potential to transmit Lyme disease but a number of other serious tick borne diseases. The Rouge Valley region of eastern Toronto is one of the areas listed as a known endemic area for Lyme’s disease in Ontario!


  1. Early detection is KEY!

Small Fact:  Like most diseases, heartworm and tick borne diseases (including Lyme disease) have the greatest potential of being treated successfully when caught in their earlier stages.


  1. Manufacturers will NOT provide a full guarantee!

Small Fact:  It’s simple: companies and manufacturers of heartworm preventions will not give a full guarantee of their product if they do not have proof that your dog was not already positive for heartworm prior to starting their medication.  Therefore, they will not offer help with all diagnostics and treatment if your dog was to contract heartworm while on their product.


  1. Cheaper Wellness Testing!!

Small Fact:  Wellness testing is done through blood and urine.  It can help with the early detection of numerous things such as kidney, liver and thyroid diseases.  Since things happen very quickly in our pets, wellness testing is recommended every 6-12 months.  When we put it into perspective: if you are testing for disease processes yearly, it is comparable to us testing ourselves every 7 years and a lot can happen within that time frame.

It is also a great idea to do wellness testing to help to monitor existing disease processes or the effects of different medications on our pet’s organs.

The good news is, during heartworm season if you combine wellness testing with a 4DX it comes at a reduced rate and the blood collection fee is also waived during this time!  So there is no better time to have both done to ensure the health and longevity of your pet’s well-being!

Written by The West Hill Team


Dog with mouth open and human inspecting its mouth with a magnifying glass

Why does my dog’s breath smell?

Bad breath (halitosis) in a dog or cat is usually because of poor dental health.  Occasionally a dog or cat may have good teeth and still have bad breath in which case the diet is usually the cause. This is relatively rare, however, compared to the likelihood of a dental issue.

Read More
See All Articles

Last updated: September 28, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective September 28th, 2020 we have made some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!



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


We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
- Friday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED


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!

Your dedicated team at West Hill Animal Clinic