Spring has officially arrived and veterinary clinics all through Ontario are busy getting ready for heartworm season. Dog owners across the Province are starting to receive their heartworm testing and prevention reminders. The truth is it is not just about heartworm testing anymore. Why? With the emergence of ticks and tick-borne diseases, the annual trip to the veterinary office for a heartworm test has taken on a new importance.
At Fairmont Animal Hospital we now use a blood test referred to as 4DX – this blood test is not only checking for heartworm infection but it is checking for the presence of several other diseases that are spread by ticks – this test screens for 4 different problems with one single blood sample. It screens for heartworm disease, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia and Anaplasmosis. Most pet parents are educated and aware of the risk of mosquito-borne heartworm disease, but not many are aware of the risks involved with tick-borne diseases. Ticks carry Lyme disease, Ehrlichia and Anaplasmosis – so at Fairmont when we send out our annual reminders for blood testing we are no longer testing your dog for a single disease.
Why is this blood test important for your dog? Ticks have emerged as the new threat for disease transmission and annually checking for tick-borne diseases is just good medicine. As the veterinary staff, we want the best for your canine companion and we know as an owner you do too. Annual blood testing just makes sense – help keep your dog protected, by testing and using both heartworm prevention and tick control.
If you would like to discuss the 4DX test in more detail, please call one of our team members at 519-453-2940.
Written by Marie Hearn