Heartworms are exactly what they sound–3-6 inch worms that live in the heart [...]
When a patient is presented with a medical problem our veterinarians will start by taking a medical history. Because our patients can’t speak for themselves we ask the owners a lot of questions to get a better idea of the nature of the problem.
A full physical exam is then done. A great deal of information can be collected by looking in the eyes, ears, mouth, taking the heart and respiratory rate, checking the temperature, listening to the heart and lungs and feeling the abdomen. We also feel the lymph nodes and examine the skin and coat.
Once the history and physical exam are completed the veterinarian then may suggest blood tests, radiographs (x-rays), ultrasound or electrocardiogram to help with a diagnosis.
Once these results are put together with the history and physical exam a treatment plan can be made and put into effect.