Vector-Borne Disease Testing & Treatment

Our pets can be exposed to a variety of diseases and infections through infected hosts such as mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Regular screening is imperative to ensure appropriate treatment. At TDVG we offer easy in-house testing for various vector-borne diseases including:  

Heartworm Disease 

Heartworms are serious blood-borne parasites transmitted through infected mosquitos. In Canada, the disease is problematic in areas where mosquitoes are prevalent, such as along waterways in most parts of Ontario. The greatest number of Canadian cases occur around the southern Great Lakes. 

Adult heartworms cause disease by clogging the heart and major blood vessels leading from the heart, including the pulmonary artery. Blood supply to other organs of the body is reduced, particularly blood flow to the lungs, liver, and kidneys. Decreased blood flow and decreased oxygen delivery can cause these organs to malfunction. The most obvious clinical signs of heartworm disease are a soft, dry cough, shortness of breath, weakness, listlessness, and loss of stamina. 

In most cases, one simple in-house blood tests will diagnose heartworm disease. Further diagnostic tests are often required in heartworm-positive dogs to determine your pet can safely undergo heartworm disease treatment. 

The treatment of heartworm disease is dependent on the progression of the disease. Our veterinary care team is experienced in heartworm disease treatment and will create a heartworm treatment plan that works for you and your pet.  

Heartworm disease is much more common in dogs than in cats. However, recent studies of cats with heart and respiratory diseases have found an incidence of heartworms that is far greater than previously thought.

More information about heartworm disease in cats!More information about heartworm disease in dogs!

Lyme disease  

Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the bloodstream, the Lyme disease organism is carried to many parts of the body and is likely to localize in joints or kidneys causing pain.  

Our doctors recommend an annual test that will detect the presence of antibodies created by exposure to the organism. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis 

More information about Lyme disease in dogs!

Ehrlichiosis  

Ehrlichia is a bacterium carried by ticks. Once in the host’s body, it will infect and live within white blood cells causing a wide range of symptoms such as anemia, bleeding episodes, lameness, eye problems, neurological problems, and swollen limbs. 

Our doctors recommend an annual test that will detect the presence of antibodies created by exposure to the organism. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis.   

More information about Ehrlichiosis in dogs!

Anaplasmosis 

Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease caused by the infectious bacterial organism Anaplasma phagocytophilum causing causes lameness, joint pain, fever, lethargy, and anorexia.  

Our doctors recommend an annual test that will detect the presence of antibodies created by exposure to the organism. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the prognosis.    

More information about anaplasmosis in dogs!

FeLV 

FeLV is responsible for a number of diseases in cats including leukemia. FeLV is highly contagious and is transmitted through body fluids, and may be transmitted across the placenta in pregnant cats. See handouts “Feline Leukemia Virus Disease Complex” and “Feline Leukemia Virus Vaccination” for further information on this disease. 

If your cat is in a high-risk environment for contracting FeLV our veterinarians may recommend regular screening to ensure appropriate treatment. 

More information about FeLV in cats!

FIV  

FIV reduces the capacity of the cat’s immune system to respond to other infectious agents. FIV is highly contagious and is transmitted primarily through cat bite wounds, although it may be transmitted by other routes such as across the placenta. See handout “Feline Immunodeficiency Virus” for further information. 

If your cat is in a high-risk environment for contracting FIV our veterinarians may recommend regular screening to ensure appropriate treatment. 

More information about FIV and other viral diseases in cats!

For more information about vector borne diseases, check out our pet health library!