|Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 11:14am PST |
|A heartworm test is a blood test that they draw a small amount for.
There are two different types of heartworm tests...
1. Antigen Tests- These tests detect specific antigens from adult female heartworms, and are used with much success to detect canine heartworm infection. Currently, tests are available as in-clinic tests, as well as at many veterinary reference laboratories. Most commercial tests will accurately detect infections with one or more mature female heartworms that are at least seven or eight months old, but they generally do not detect infections of less than five months duration.
2. Antibody Tests- In the late 1970's and early 1980's, several canine heartworm antibody tests were developed and introduced, but such tests for dogs have been largely replaced by the more useful antigen tests. The antibody test is the most common test used in cats, however.
The Idexx SNAP 3DX (heartworm, lyme and ehrlichia) and Idexx SNAP 4DX (heartworm, lyme, ehrlicihia and anaplasmosis) are avaliable in many clinics and you'd be able to have your answer on not only the status of the heartworm check, but also on whether or not he is lyme positive of negative in eight minute.
As for why to heartworm check every year? Think of the possibities! The tablet get stuck in your dogs' jowel and you never know he didn't get it. He goes outside and eats some grass and throws up the tablet he just got, ect. ect. Sure, the odds are minute, but they're still there. For safetly purposes, please do heartworm check every year!