The “4DX” blood test is recommended once per year on all dogs in our area to check for heartworm disease and for three common tick-borne diseases including lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis.
The CAPC (Companion Animal Parasite Council) keeps track of parasite prevalence throughout the United States. Data shows that;
- Heartworm: 1 out of 198 dogs tests positive in Middlesex County (2015)… this number does seem to be subjectively climbing in recent years due to increased importing of shelter dogs from Southern States to New England for adoption.
- Lyme Disease: 1 out of 6 dogs tests positive in Middlesex County (2015)
- Anaplasmosis: 1 out of 8 dogs tests positive in Middlesex County (2015)
- Ehrlichiosis: 1 out of 52 dogs tests positive in Middlesex County (2015)
Testing annually for heartworm disease ensures that your monthly heartworm preventative is effective. Heartworm disease itself is potentially fatal (and VERY expensive to treat). The cost of monthly prevention is far less than what you would be in for should your dog contract disease. As an added benefit, most monthly heartworm preventatives also protect against certain intestinal parasites.
Testing annually for tick-borne diseases, likewise, assesses the efficacy of your tick preventative product and allows us to track exposures so that if your pet does start to show signs of tick-borne illness we can treat accordingly.