News Bites

News Bites for April 2021

Receive a FREE heartworm test with the purchase of 6 months of heartworm prevention.
Special in effect from April 1, 2021-June 30, 2021

COVID-19: To protect you and our staff, we are still practicing curbside care. We are hoping to open our doors for in-clinic examinations by May 3, 2021. We will still require masks and will allow two people into the clinic per pet. We will still offer curbside service to those who would like to stay in their automobile. At that time, we will ask you to stay in your car when you arrive. Call us and when your exam room is available, we will have you bring your pet into the clinic. You will not have to wait in the reception area as your room will be ready. After your pet’s examination, we will check you out in the exam room so that you can leave as soon as your appointment is finished. We will continue to follow all Covid protocols to help protect you and our staff. Again, we thank you for your patience.

New Happenings

We are so excited to welcome Dr. Jessica Zelnik to our clinic. She will be joining our team the first part of June. 

Dr. Zelnik was born in the US Virgin Islands and grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University. She worked in Herriman, Utah from 2009-2012 and has worked in Salt Lake City from 2012 until now. Dr. Zelnik has one dog, Nala, who is a Rottweiler mix. She is an avid skier and mountain biker but these days spends most of her time chasing around and enjoying her little toddler. Please join us in welcoming her to our clinic.

Heartworm Disease in Dogs and Cats

2019 Heartworm Incidence

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. In dogs, heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the animal’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, prevention is by far the best option and treatment-when needed- should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible. 

Heartworms are transmitted by infected mosquitos. An infected mosquito injects larva into an uninfected dog or cat when taking a blood meal. Once inside a new host, it takes approximately 6 months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms. Once mature, heartworms can live for 5 to 7 years in dogs and up to 2-3 years in cats. Because of the longevity of these worms, each mosquito season can lead to an increasing number of worms in an infected pet.

Signs of heartworm disease may include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. As heartworm disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure and the appearance of a swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen. Cats may experience respiratory distress which can look like feline asthma. Even if treated immediately, can progress to death.

Annual testing is necessary, even when dogs and cats are on heartworm prevention year-round, to ensure that the prevention program is working. Heartworm medications are highly effective, but pets can still become infected. If you miss just one dose of a monthly medication or give it late-it can leave your pet unprotected. Even if you give the medication as recommended, your pet may spit out or vomit a heartworm pill or rub off a topical medication. Heartworm preventives are highly effective, but not 100 percent effective, so yearly testing is very important. Although Utah is not a big heartworm burden state, the incidence of heartworm has increased every year, and so year-round prevention is highly recommended for both dogs and cats, whether they are outside of inside only pets.

The above information was taken from the American Heartworm Society. They have some great information. Please visit their website at

If you have any questions that our professional team can answer for you, please call (801) 254-6621. To take advantage of the discounted pricing, please schedule your pet’s heartworm test at your earliest convenience.