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Heartworm & Tick Testing for Dogs

Spring has almost sprung…get your dog’s heartworm & tick testing done!

The scoop on 4DX testing 

What is a 4DX test?

  • A simple blood test to check for heartworm disease and 3 tick-transmitted pathogens (Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis & anaplasmosis)

Heartworm disease is caused by long, hair-like worms called Dirofilaria immitis which are spread by infected mosquitos. These worms cause disease by clogging up the heart & blood vessels leading to the heart

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi which is carried & spread by the deer tick (black-legged tick). It can cause lameness and kidney failure

Ehrlichiosis is caused by a rickettsial organism Ehrlichia canis which is spread by ticks & could cause anemia, lameness and neurological issues

Anaplasmosis is caused by a bacterial organism Anaplasma phagocytophilium which is spread by ticks & could cause lameness, fever and lethargy

How is a 4DX test performed?

  • A small blood sample is taken and is sent out to a laboratory for testing

When should a 4DX test be done?

  • It is recommended that a 4DX test be done every spring 

What are tick & heartworm prevention options?

  • As of present, there is no full coverage “all in one” prevention option and therefore you will need to give your dog separate heartworm & tick preventions
  • Available in tablet and topical forms
  • Most preventions are given once a month
  • Most preventions also protect against fleas & internal parasites
  • Make an appointment with your veterinary team to discuss the right preventions for your individual pet

What if I miss a dose of prevention?

  • Missing just 1 dose of monthly prevention (or giving it significantly late) could leave your pet unprotected and at risk

Does my dog really need to be heartworm tested every year?

  • We highly recommend yearly testing
  • Although current preventions are highly effective, no medication is 100%. We want to ensure the prevention is working for your dog
  • To ensure heartworm strains are not growing resistant to current preventions, yearly testing is recommended

Written by Melanie Hargot

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Last updated: December 21, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, have made some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

5. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Briarwood Animal Hospital