Annual Testing for Tick Diseases and Heartworm

VeterinarySpecialistReferrals

They are on the way again.

 

At our practice we tested 1032 dogs last year.

36 tested positive for Lyme Disease, and 9 tested positive for Heartworm.  In our area we are seeing more and more dogs testing positive for Lyme, which increases the potential for more pet owners to also be exposed to this serious condition.

To help ensure the safety of pets and their families, we have moved to annual testing for these diseases.  This will ensure that if your dog is bitten by an infected tick and contracts this disease, we are able to start treatment and decrease the chances for a severe problem.  Most dogs recover fully when treatment is started early.  Treatment for both Lyme disease and Heartworm are expensive, so annual testing and prevention are much easier on the pocket book.

Why test every Year?????

Unfortunately, there is no 100% guarantee that even with vaccines and monthly prevention your dog will not get a tick disease or Heartworm.  Missing a treatment once or twice may not seem like a big deal, however it is a window of opportunity for the disease to be transmitted.  We cannot watch our pets all the time, and we all have seen, and stepped in, those lovely piles of vomit they will occasionally leave us.

  Oral medications can be under dosed if your pets weight changes over the summer, and many people forget that Lyme disease is transmitted by the deer tick, which is active in fall when it it getting colder.

Topical medications can wear off if your pet swims or plays in wet grass.  Vaccines can also decrease in effectiveness over time.   A heavy tick burden in your area will also decrease effectiveness of prevention.

For all these reasons and more, we recommend the test every year to make sure we do not miss the opportunity to keep your pet healthy and safe.