The 4Dx snap test in veterinary medicine is a blood test that is run on site and provides results in about 8 minutes. The test is run to screen your pet for six vector-borne diseases. When we run this test we are checking your dog for Heartworm, Lyme, Ehrlichia canis, Ehrlichia ewingi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Anaplasma platys.
You are probably thinking what are these and are they really that dangerous to my dog?
Let’s start by saying this, at Brook Farm Veterinary Center we wouldn’t recommend something for your pet unless we think it will help their overall health. Our veterinarians encourage testing because ticks in our area are spreading these diseases into our environment. Aside from heartworm, which is transmitted through mosquitoes, all of the above are being transmitted to our pets through ticks.
Your pet should be 4dx snap tested once per year at least. By making this a habit it allows your veterinarian to catch any positive detection and treat your pet as needed. These vector borne diseases can be deadly especially if they’re left untreated.
Heartworm has been found in dogs all across the United States.. It’s important to know that dogs who are on monthly heartworm medication can still get exposed if they are not on the correct dosage. It’s super important that your dog get the correct dosage based on their current weight. Another reason your pet can still get infected while being treated is if you are not consistent with their heartworm medication. Be sure to always give this to your pet once a month for the entire year. Dog owners with different sized dogs will need different size heartworm medications each month to ensure their pet is getting the correct dose for the weight of their dog. While heartworm is treatable and preventable, it is something that is serious and can become fatal. The sooner you start treatment the better for your dog’s health.
I think everyone has heard of Lyme disease which is transmitted through ticks. If Lyme disease is left undetected and untreated Lyme can also become damaging. Common health issues include limping, being lethargic, lack of eating, and depression. Most people are not aware of the internal damage it can cause their pets. More serious issues from Lyme include kidney damage and rarely heart and nervous system disease.
Ehrlichia canis is an infection of your pet’s white blood cells. This affects the bone marrow function, including the production of white blood cells. Symptoms can include; loss of appetite, depression, lack of energy, runny eyes, runny nose, spontaneous nose bleeds, joint pain and lameness. Pets do not always show symptoms. Ehrlichia ewingi is an infection of blood cells that leads to joint pain and lameness, loss of energy and lack of appetite.
Anaplasma phagocytophilum clinical signs include not wanting to move, lethargy, fever, anorexia, and muscle pain. Anaplasma platys affects your dog in similar ways.
All of the tick-borne diseases above have similar symptoms and if they’re left undetected and untreated they can cause more serious internal problems. Annual testing allows us to catch things sooner and treat your pet as early on as possible. The most common and effective treatment for a dog with a tick-borne disease is an oral antibiotic called Doxycycline. The treatment for heartworm positive dogs will vary depending on the stage of their infection.
Many pet parents feel they don’t need to test for things if their pet is not showing any signs or symptoms. However, this is not always the case. Proactive testing is very beneficial because some of these diseases can infect your pet without any signs of symptoms. In addition to annual 4dx snap testing it is always a good idea to have regular blood work done on your pet before he or she is having health issues because this will check how their internal organs are functioning. Early detection and treatment are always the goal of preventative care.
If you have questions about 4DX testing, please call and ask to speak to a member of our medical team at (845) 878-4833.