What Does A Heartworm Test Mean?

By April 11, 2018 Uncategorized

It’s that time of year again. The bugs are back and with them all of their fun little diseases that like to carry. 

Every year your dog’s blood is taken to make sure that they don’t have heartworm disease, but what does that really mean? What does the test entail?

It’s pretty simple really and it can be life or death for your pet. Even if your pet is on heartworm prevention, doesn’t 100% mean that he or she is protected. That one day you missed may mean that your pet may or may not contract heartworm disease. 

So what does it entail? Well, we take some blood from your pet. Either from the front leg, back leg or neck

So we take blood from any one of those spots. All depends on how well behaved the pet is. We normally do the Jugular vein(neck vein) as it is the largest vein and the easiest to get too. 

The blood is placed in an Purple top tube that contains EDTA which is anticoagulant. This means that the blood will not clot once placed into that tube and can be used for testing. 

Once ready we use the Idexx 4Dx snap tests. We place the place the blood (3 drops) in another tube with 4 drops of conjugate. The conjugate helps move the blood across the wells in the test. This combination is mixed together a couple of times and then placed into the large well. The blood will across the screen. Once it is across we snap it and wait 8 minutes to get the results. 

Below image shows positive responses. If there is nothing wrong with your pets blood. The only blood dot that will show up will be the control which is the dot on the top left. 

If it only take 8 minutes to run, why are clients told to wait 24 hours before giving the medications?  It gives us time to run the test and if there is a positive sample it’ll give the doctor’s time to get a hold of you to talk about the next steps.

Now this year we are making everyone test for these diseases. The medications are not 100%. We have seen pets that have been on heartworm, flea and tick medications their whole lives and contracted a disease. Also now that the ticks have become a lot more active in past few years. We want to make sure your pets are safe and healthy. A healthy pet is a happy pet 🙂

Give us a call any time to book an appointment or just to talk about the possible diseases that our pets can get from fleas, ticks and mosquitos. 

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