It is recommended that your pet receive a simple yearly blood test called the 4Dx, this is a test that checks for Heartworm disease, Lyme, Erhlichia, and Anaplasma. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes in the summer months. Once infected, and if left untreated, animals will experience heart failure. Lyme, Erhlichia and Anaplasma are transmitted by ticks. These diseases can cause arthritis, weight loss, kidney failure and various bleeding disorders. The 4Dx test requires a small sample of blood from your pet, the blood is then tested to see if your pet has been exposed or is infected with any of these diseases. If your pet tests positive for any of these diseases an appropriate treatment recommendation will be made.
As we all know, it is better to prevent disease than waiting to treat the myriad of problems associated with any given infection.
We recommend giving heartworm preventative once monthly year round. Although heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes in the summer most heartworm preventatives also prevent internal parasites which pets can contract year round.
We recommend starting flea and tick preventatives early spring, usually March or April. Ticks are usually most prevalent early spring and late fall. Most diseases transmitted by ticks require the tick to be attached for approximately 30 to 40 hours. It is important to continue flea and tick preventatives until late fall because although fleas will die after the first killing frost, ticks do not die until the temperatures are consistently below 32 degrees.
There are several options available for heartworm, flea and tick prevention. Our staff will make recommendations based on your particular situation and concerns. Heartworm prevention is generally delivered in a chewable oral tablet and given every 30 days. Flea and tick preventatives come in oral tablets, collars and topical liquids. Some products for flea and tick prevention require application every 30 days, others last up to 6 months. If using a topical liquid product it is important to not allow your pet to become wet for 2 days prior to application and 2 days after application.