Owning a pet is a joy in life that many people find hugely fulfilling, something that brings a great deal of happiness and completion to many lives all throughout the United States. Cat owners and dog owners alike can often agree that owning a pet changed their lives for the better, and many people even have more than one pet, also encompassing pets like ferrets, birds, guinea pigs, and even, depending on where you live and your financial situation, bigger pets like horses. As many as two million people in the United States alone own at least one horse, often kept in a barn close to the home, and there are as many as eighty million dog owners and ninety six million cat owners in the United States alone. In fact, people are so devoted to their household pets that more than half of both dog owners and cat owners actually went as far as to purchase their dog or cat at least one Christmas present, often a toy or a special treat to celebrate the day.

But part of taking good care of your pet and ensuring that they lead a healthy and therefore happy life means that regular veterinary care – often with the help of a veterinary laboratory – is essential. Veterinary laboratory procedures are often an important part of this care, as veterinary diagnostics are often used to test for common conditions like heartworm. And heartworm is all too common of a condition found in cats and dogs (most commonly, though it can also effect animals like horses) alike. It is important to note that cats and dogs will react differently to contracting heartworm, as a cat can become very sick from the presence of just a few worms, as few as two, while dogs develop more severe symptoms the more worms are present and can sometimes have upwards of thirty worms present at the time of diagnosis through the use of a veterinary laboratory and heartworm test kit.

With heartworm so common that veterinary laboratory services throughout the entirety of the country will see as many as one million cases of heartworm in dogs alone throughout the course of just one year, preventative care for heartworm is recommended by the vast majority of veterinary laboratory services and vet offices in the United States. First of all, it is important to note that this preventative course of treatment, while not necessarily inexpensive, is likely to save the typical pet owner a considerable amount of money. This is because the cost of treating heartworm, which can cost as much as one thousand dollars just for one cycle of treatment, is going to be far more expensive than the preventative care provided to even the youngest of dogs and cats. And it is very much recommended to start preventative heartworm treatment as young as is recommended by your vet. Puppies can even be started as young as seven months of age, though they will need to be tested every six months for the first few intervals of that amount of time to ensure that the treatment is working how it should be.

From the commonly administered canine heartworm test to a equine infectious anemia virus antibody test, veterinary laboratory services are an important part of providing the proper medical care to your beloved pet. Heartworm is all too common in most parts of the United States (if not all of them) and should be treated as a serious condition, as it has the potential to make your pet very sick indeed. And it is widely agreed that preventative care for heartworm is wildly and widely superior to treating the condition once it has already manifested.