how do they do a heartworm test

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Willy Moo

Pimpin ain't- easy
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 9:19am PST 
my vet said my pup is due for his rabies shot and also his heartworm test. do they do heartworm once a year?
i have him on hartguard every month, i assume this is a standard thing they test for once a year.
is it a stool sample or do they draw blood?

also i wanted to get him tested for lyme at the end of tick season since we are in tick country do they test for both the same way?
maybe i could wait for his heartworm test and get them done at the same time.

I'm sticking my- tongue out at- you!
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 9:53am PST 
I don't know about the lyme disease test, but have you found any ticks on him? Is he on a preventative that protects against the ticks? If there haven't been any ticks on his and he's on a preventative, then there shouldn't be a need to test. Ticks don't bite and jump off. You would have to get them off.

On the heartworm test, they draw blood. I don't know about your vet, but my vet requires it at the yearly exam for any dog on heartworm preventative. If you give heartgard to a dog with heartworms, the results could be deadly. If you give heartgard as directed, the chance of getting heart worms is almost neil, and if your dog did get them, the company that makes heartgard has to pay for the treatment if you bought it from your vet.
Lily- 11/17/2005 - 6/2/2014

Born to be Wild
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 10:39am PST 
'Our vet's pharmacy won't give us the preventative if our prescription is not updated yearly. When mom adopted me, I was HW positive, and we're treating it monthly instead of the big arsenic treatment. The pharmacy wouldn't even refill my prescription knowing that, and mom told them I had an appointment in two days. They're real strict! Mom freaks if we don't get our treatments the first of the month. Like it's going to wear off on the second of the month, BOL! Oh, BTW, Hershey is right - they draw blood and test it.


Grizzy Grace. <3
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!
Mr.- BoJangles

Behaving doesn't- always work for- me
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 12:27pm PST 
You know, I don't think we get tested yearly for heartworm. I think our vet does it every 2 years as long as your dog is on heartgard year round. If you only do it for the summer months then you need retesting. Hmm... I wonder if that is a problem?
Willy Moo

Pimpin ain't- easy
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 12:41pm PST 
thanks pups! wave

i wasnt suggesting i didnt want to do the heartworm test, Willy is just my first dog and i wasnt sure if i could wait to do it til the end of the summer when i do the lyme test.
in fact we got him in December so if my vet ever did a heartworm test on him it would have been six months ago not a year but im not sure if they did one or not beucase he prolly had one from the rescue group we got him from.
and hershey yes i have found plenty of ticks on him. both alive and dead. i also find dead ones on my basement floor sometimes eek
he is on frontline plus and also the lyme/lepto vaccine because we live in the heart of tick country and i thought if i waited til the end of tick season i could get him tested just to make sure.

so it sounds like what everyone is saying is i should have him tested for heartworm when he is due and not wait. he needs his rabies shot anyways so we can do those two things at once.
Willy Moo

Pimpin ain't- easy
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 12:44pm PST 
er seven months ago i mean. red face

*Retrieva Diva!*
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 7:00pm PST 
Hey Will Moo,

At our vet they do the 4DX test (lymes, erlichia, anaplasmosis, and heartworm). They just take a little blood sample and the test takes about 15 minutes for results.

In my opinion, I would just wait until the end of summer (close to september/october) and get the test done then. Then you know for sure most of the mosquitos are gone (for sake of heartworm) and also most of the ticks are gone (for the sake of the other three diseases). Nallah's annual check-up is in December so we just do her 4DX then. Since we've had her we have done 2 tests (And we've had her since October 2006). I just think its a good idea to get them done every year for the peace of mind that your treatments are working. Because remember, Nallah was vaccinated for Lymes and on Frontline Plus the whole time we've had her and ended up with Lymes and Anaplasmosis this past December when she had her annual.

Maybe you could take Willy in for his shot and then schedule another appointment later this fall for his other tests. Our vet isn't too pricey for the test either, I want to say around $40. To me, thats worth the peace of mind. wink
♥- Smokey- ♥

I Want A Butt- Rub!
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 7:08pm PST 
Our vet does not require either the lyme test or heartworm test but I still do them every year! Nothing beats knowing for sure your pup is healthy!
Athena DEAD

Frisbeeeeeeeeeee- eeeee!
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 7:52pm PST 
Why don't you ask your vet?
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