Cookie's Annual Heartworm and Tick-Borne Diseases Test

The American Heartworm Society recommends annual heartworm testing for all dogs. This makes perfect sense to me, and I would do it even without such recommendation. When I called to make the appointment I was surprised to be told that Cookie had the test last year and I didn't have to do it this year if I didn't want to. Either way, I wanted to.

Heartworm is the last thing I want to be taking any chances with.

I give heartworm preventive religiously, year-round. For those who might wonder why year-round, I can tell you that we've been finding mosquitoes in the house throughout the winter, even on days when it was -20 outside. Yeah, I was shocked too.

That aside, any day when temperatures outside got milder, you could see the odd mosquito buzzing around. I agree that it is pretty crazy, but it's no word of a lie.

All it takes is one bite from one mosquito.

With a bit of bad luck, one bite from one mosquito is all it takes for a dog to get infected.

Unlike with many other things, heartworm prevention is a no-brainer. With some other diseases, trying to decide which is the lesser of the evil can be hard. With heartworm, it is easy. Heartworm infection is the worse of the evil hands down.

We use HEARTGARD® Plus.

Interestingly, we have to make a special order for this, because all other clients at our vet clinic use something else now. If I remember correctly, they are using a combination of Frontline and one other product I don't remember.

Many preventive products out there aim to address more than one problem at once. But that often makes them better doing one job than the other. We opted for a product which had the best track record for heartworm protection.

While I would love to have one safe product to address heartworm and tick and everything else under the sun, having something that our dogs always tolerated without problems and I can reasonably trust to prevent heartworm is good enough for me.

I always get a bit nervous waiting for the results.

I am very happy that Cookie's heartworm test was negative.

Sometimes we test for tick-borne diseases, and sometimes we don't. This time we did because of all the ticks we kept finding on Cookie last fall.

With tick preventives, I don't see the choice as clear-cut. The disease they transmit are bacterial and, at least theoretically, treatable with antibiotics. That weighs against the fact that Cookie had a major reaction to Advantix when we tried using it on her.

After much deliberation and research of available options, we decided to go with natural options, at least for now.

Cookie tested negative for tick-borne diseases also.

Our clinic does in-house testing, which is quite convenient. They use the SNAP 4Dx Plus Test.

The one test screens for heartworm, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia and anaplasma. So for now, we can relax a bit; Cookie hasn't contracted any of the vector-borne diseases that are common around here.

We will, naturally keep up with the heartworm preventive and monitoring the tick situation. So far, this year, we haven't found any on Cookie.

Do you test your dog annually for vector-borne diseases?

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Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated 
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Cookie's ALT Update
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Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was" 
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Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet 
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Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Trazodone  
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Other Medications 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy, and Chiropractic 
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips 
It Never Rains ... Cookie's New Injury 
Mixed Emotions: When What You Should Do Might Not Be What You Should Do for Your Dog 
Cookie's New Injury Update 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: The Symptoms 
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: Battling the Zoomies 
Cookie's Muscle Injuries: What Else Is Going On?
Theory and Actual Decisions for an Actual Dog Aren't the Same Thing: Cookie's Knee Injury
Does Your Vet Listen to You? Cookie's Post-Sedation Complications
Would I Ever Treat a Symptom Directly? 
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment for Cookie's Bad Knee(s)
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Cookie's Bad Cruciate Update 
Injury or Surgery Recovery: Mishaps versus Setbacks 
See Something, Do Something: Cookie's Lumpectomy 
Cookie's Lumpectomy Update 
Using Pressure Pads to Evaluate Lameness in Dogs: My Observations
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: What Supplements Am I Using?
Cookie's Musculoskeletal Challenges: Restricted Activity and Weight Management
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate Tear: Update
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Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate Tear Update and Considering the Future
Cookie's PRP Treatment for Partial Cruciate (CCL/ACL) Tear and Leg Circumference
Cookie's Wellness Exam
Ticked Off at the Tick Situation: What Do You Use for Tick Prevention?
Ticked Off at the Tick Situation: The Verdict Is In (for Now)

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