Treatment Type: Diagnostic Procedures
Rated for: Labrador Retriever
Posted Jun. 10, 2018
In order to screen for microfilariae, a blood sample must be taken. Once the sample is taken, then it is looked at under a microscope for the microfilariae. This can be done at the clinic or sent out to a diagnostic lab.
This is commonly done in adjunct to the heartworm test. A heartworm test detects adult females only, not the microfilariae. So if a test is positive or borderline positive, it is important to check for the presence of microfilariae. The presence of microfilariae indicates that there are mature adult worms present in the heart.
Testing for microfilariae should be done with a heartworm test. Finding no microfilariae does not mean there aren't any adult worms present however, especially if on a monthly heartworm preventative. The preventative kills the microfilariae. Finding microfilariae however are indicative of adult worms in the heart.