4DX: The Four-Way Test That Saves Canine Lives

Jan 28, 2019 | Diagnosis, Dogs, Parasites, Uncategorized

Preventive care is all about keeping your pet happy and healthy, and one of the most important tests for dogs is called 4DX. This is a blood test that checks for four common diseases in dogs: Heartworm, plus three tick-borne diseases. Every dog should get a 4DX test during its annual exam. Not only can this save your pet’s life, but it can also save you thousands of dollars in critical treatment should your dog come down with any of these awful diseases.

Test 1: Heartworms

Heartworms come from mosquitos, and mosquitos that carry heartworm have become more prevalent in Virginia over the last few years. This is because a lot of dogs from the deep South relocated to our area after Hurricane Katrina. Many of these dogs carried heartworm and passed it along to the local mosquito population. Whenever a healthy dog gets bit by a mosquito carrying heartworm, the heartworms spend the next 6 months developing into adults in the dog’s heart and lungs. Over time they cause irreversible damage to both of these organs, and if a large enough number of worms grow they can actually cause a complete blockage in the heart. What’s really scary is some dogs never show symptoms. However, some may develop a cough, lose their tolerance for exercise, or act lethargic. And here’s what’s really important: Mosquitos can be found at any time during the year—Even inside homes. Therefore, it is imperative, even for indoor-only dogs, to be on heartworm preventions all year long, and for them to be tested yearly.

Test 2: Lyme

Lyme disease is probably the most infamous tick-borne disease. It is also the most prevalent. About 60% of central Virginia’s dog population gets diagnosed with Lyme at some point in their lives. However, annual exams are when most of these cases get caught—thanks in large part to 4DX screenings. This is very important because most dogs with the disease don’t show symptoms during the crucial early stages. The longer a case of Lyme is untreated, the worse it gets. Lyme disease is most known for causing joint pain and lameness, but it can also cause kidney failure and death. Even owners who give their pets newer oral flea and tick products should get their pets tested, as no preventative is 100% effective.

Test 3: Ehrlichia

Ehrlichia is another tick-borne disease found in central Virginia. As with Lyme, 4DX can catch cases early and has saved countless canine lives. Ehrlichia may cause lethargy, depression, anorexia, fever, neurologic signs, and eye pain. The scariest symptom of Ehrlichia is spontaneous bleeding, which is caused because the disease attacks platelets in the blood, which prevents the blood from clotting. Needless to say, this free-bleeding can be life-threatening and requires hospitalization. If diagnosed early with 4DX, Ehrlichia is easily treated with a course of antibiotics.

Test 4: Anaplasma

Anaplasma is very similar in presentation to Ehrlichia but is not found as frequently in central Virginia. By testing yearly with the 4DX, the disease may be caught before symptoms develop and can be life-saving. Since the 4DX tests for antibodies (the body’s immune response) against Ehrlichia and Anaplasma, it is possible that your dog may continue to be positive for the rest of its life, even after treatment. If this is the case, a complete blood count should be performed yearly to determine if a further course of antibiotics will be required.  

Adding a 4DX to your dog’s annual wellness exam can be a life-saving diagnostic. Paired with all year round heartworm and flea and tick preventatives, the 4DX helps keep your dog healthy for a long and happy life.

For more information, contact our team at VETSS!

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4DX: The Four-Way Test That Saves Canine Lives

Preventive care is all about keeping your pet happy and healthy, and one of the most important tests for dogs is called 4DX. This is a blood test that checks for four common diseases in dogs: Heartworm, plus three tick-borne diseases. Every dog should get a 4DX test...

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There was Jack Russell found by the old firehouse in Ruckersville. Suspected hit by car. Call VETSS 434-973-3519 if you think this is your animal or if you have any information as to who the owner might be. ... See MoreSee Less

There was Jack Russell found by the old firehouse in Ruckersville. Suspected hit by car. Call VETSS 434-973-3519 if you think this is your animal or if you have any information as to who the owner might be.Image attachment

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This is the post: MY NAME IS EMMA PEARL, I’M A JACK RUSSELL TERRIER, 13 YEARS OLD AND WEIGH APPROX. 13 PDS. I’M VERY SWEET AND FRIENDLY. I HAVE HAD ALL MY VACCINES, SO I’M SAFE TO PUT IN YOUR CAR FOR A RIDE BACK TO MY DAD IN MADISON, VA. I HAVE A SORE SPOT ON THE END OF MY CROPPED TAIL. I ALSO ESCAPE MY COLLAR AND TAGS REGULARLY. IF YOU HAVE SEEN ME AROUND OR PICKED ME UP, PLEASE CALL HIM… ANTHONY MORRIS 540-948-6174. ORIGINALLY LOST IN THE GRAVES MILL/MADISON, VA AREA.

Appreciate the thought Eileen Molloy Norris, but it is NOT Forrest. Hope it's his or her family is found and quickly!!

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Hope she finds her family and she’s ok! 💜

This may be Emma Pearl. Her owner lives in Madison, and she's been missing for a few weeks.

Is he being treated??

Shared.

Culpeper County Animal Shelter

I've tried calling the number we received for Anthony Morris and left a voicemail. Will try again

Emma Pearl is a tri color and has not been found.

Anybody!! If no one found to claim him/her please contact me !!!!!!! Love them!!!! Name Blanca, I live in Orange 703-606-3094😪❤️

I will try to find the owner's number. Emma Pearl is about 13 years old.

😢

Kar Bisaillon it’s a long short but could it be

If someone is missing a golden retriever in the Earlysville area please call us at 434-973-3519 for information! ... See MoreSee Less

If someone is missing a golden retriever in the Earlysville area please call us at 434-973-3519 for information!Image attachmentImage attachment

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My last Golden was found in that area, we had 16 years together 💕🐾

Shared that dog looks well taken care of. Someone is definitely missing their fur baby. Can you post on pawboost.com Va, nextdoor.com- helps reunite lost pets

Carolyn Foreman Betts in case you know anyone missing their baby!

Oh man I think maybe this dog came looking for me

Our cutest patient of the day!Our friend helped name Popcorn - because she hops so much - because she jumps and pops all around the place. Well, she's been popping herself all over the farm and today she popped herself too high and got a broken leg. We'd like to thank our friends at Veterinary Emergency Treatment Services & Specialty and the Louisa Veterinary Service for helping us through today. Popcorn is doing well and is thankful for pain meds and lots of treats. Get well soon Popcorn! ... See MoreSee Less

Our cutest patient of the day!

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Such a cute name and the description of what she did to hurt her leg had me giggling but i feel bad for her..you guys are great and i know will fix her up!

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