LIONS FOUNDATION OF CANADA DOG GUIDES
Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides and its founding program, Canine Vision Canada, was established in 1983. It’s the largest school of its kind in Canada with its training school in Oakville and breeding facility in Breslau.
4DX/Accuplex Blood Testing For Dogs – It’s More Than Just A Heartworm Test!
If you have a dog and you’ve been to your veterinarian lately your dog has likely had a 4DX/Accuplex blood test. What is this test and does my dog really need it?
If you have been a dog owner for more than 5-10 years you would likely remember going to the veterinary clinic to get your dog’s heartworm test done in the spring, along with purchasing their seasonal heartworm prevention.
Times have changed!
With the migration of ticks into Canada, ticks and tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease are now a significant risk to both your dog and your family.
A 4DX/Accuplex test is a simple blood test that can save your dog’s life. Preventative care is the foundation of keeping your dog healthy. A yearly wellness exam that includes a thorough history, a fecal exam as well as a 4DX/Accuplex test is the cornerstone to preventative health for internal and external parasites. This blood test checks for heartworm, but also tick-borne disease like Lyme disease. By having this simple blood test done on your dog your veterinarian can diagnose these diseases early, often before your dog is showing any symptoms, and therefore increase the treatment success.
Heartworm disease – heartworm is true to its name: transmitted by mosquitoes, these worms can grow to 30 cm in length and reside in the heart and blood vessels of the lung. Heartworms can live up to 5-7 years; during this time, they can cause extensive damage to the heart and lungs, including death. Early diagnosis through a simple blood test allows for early diagnosis and treatment, limiting the extent and severity of the infestation over time. By testing your dog early with the 4DX/Accuplex test, before symptoms occur, your veterinarian can diagnose the infection when treatment is possible and before irreversible damage is done. All dogs should be given a heartworm prevention product throughout the season; for most of Canada this is June-November.
Tick-borne diseases – ticks are common throughout Canada; some tick species are capable of carrying and transmitting tick-borne diseases. The most common is Lyme disease, caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, but other tick-borne diseases include anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis. Early detection through blood screening (generally in conjunction with heartworm screening) allows for earlier planning and disease management, as well as prevention of future infections. Most dogs that are infected in the crucial early stages do not show symptoms. The longer a case of Lyme disease is untreated the worse it gets. Early detection with blood testing is important. All dogs should be on a tick preventative product if there is at least 1 day a month over zero degrees; for most of Canada this is the case in at least 9 months of the year, and in many areas there is risk in all 12 months.
Gastrointestinal parasites – intestinal worms are common in dogs and cats – primarily in puppies as well as in pets with an adventurous outdoor lifestyle. Some of these parasites, such as roundworms and hookworms, can be transmitted to people (zoonotic) and are readily detected in stool/fecal sample analysis.
All of these infections and diseases are much easier to prevent than to treat. Including a 4DX/Accuplex test as part of your dog’s yearly wellness exam in addition to using a monthly all in one preventative for ticks, fleas, heartworm and other internal parasites is an excellent way to keep your dog happy and healthy. These are all preventable diseases that if left untreated and undetected can be deadly.
4DX and Accuplex are the property of their respective owners.