We have all heard about heartworm tests but what about tick tests? What is this new 4dx that we keep hearing about? We have the answers!
what is a heartworm test?
Heartworm tests are commonplace to hear about but how often do we really talk about it? It is high time we do.
Heartworms come from bites of infected mosquitoes. They infest the pet, clogging their heart vessels and leading to deadly heartworm disease. This is when we can draw blood and detect the heartworms. This allows us to know when treatment is needed.
Heartworm disease is deadly so it is common sense that we want to detect it early. Thus we recommend testing your pet for heartworms every year. Heartworm preventative year round and regular testing are the best ways to prevent heartworm disease in your pet.
what is a 4dx?
4dx’s are a newer version of a heartworm test but it also tests for the common tick disease. Ticks are crazy common in Oklahoma, especially during the summer. Flea and tick prevention is the best way to prevent tick diseases, but if the tick population is large enough, prevention doesn’t always cut it.
That is why recommend yearly tick tests in addition to heartworm tests. Thankfully, we only have to draw blood once! A 4dx is a combo test that tests for six different diseases (see below).
This easy in-clinic test can detect heartworm disease and the most common tick diseases: Ehrlichia, Lyme Disease, and Anaplasmosis. Most of these are extremely common in Oklahoma, unfortunately. Ehrlichia and heartworm disease being the most common.
WHAT IS EHRLICHIA & is it important?
Canine Ehrlichiosis is the most common tick disease in our dogs in Oklahoma. It is transmitted when an infected tick bites a dog and stays attached for at least 10 hours. This allows the tick to exchange its sputum in the dog’s system, thus infecting it.
HOW COMMON IS EHRLICHIA?
Ehrlichia is common in the United States, especially in the Southwest and central states. As you can see below, Oklahoma is in the hot zone, especially our part of the state. This is why we stress yearly testing for tick diseases.
HOW DO WE PREVENT HEARTWORM AND TICK DISEASES?
Preventing these diseases can only be done by using products that kill the insects that transmit them: mosquitoes and ticks. Unfortunately, there are no products that prevent these bugs from biting our pets, but we can kill them before the diseases transmit.
There are several option for tick and heartworm prevention, but there is only one combination product: Simparica Trio. It is one monthly chew that protects against fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites.
*Please note that this is a prescription product and requires an exam within the last 12 months