Westgate Pet Clinic saw another heartworm positive dog recently. The poor guy had traveled to Minnesota from a region of the country where heartworm disease was not a problem, so he hadn’t been on heartworm preventative for the past year. “Alvin” (his name has been changed to protect his identity), came into the clinic for vaccinations. His heartworm disease was picked up on routine blood screening. Heartworm disease takes 6 months to show up positive in the blood after a dog has been bitten by an infected mosquito. The worms develop in the heart and look like a big ball of spaghetti noodles. They cause damage to the heart muscle and heart valves, and if left untreated can lead to death. There is a treatment available for heartworm disease, but preventing the problem with an easy, once a month oral preventative is the best way to go. “Alvin” is back at home in St. Louis Park after the first step of his treatment. So far he’s doing well.