The four-flex or 4DX snap test is the most trustworthy method of screening for heartworm and tick-borne illnesses. A pet owner is advised to have one’s dog tested immediately when the dog shows symptoms of these diseases which can cause death. The test costs P900.00 to P1,200.00.
In the article “What is a 4DX?,” the Hillcrest Animal Hospital said the 4Dx test for dogs employs cutting-edge technology to identify four indicators in as little as 10 minutes: heartworm antigen, Lyme disease antibody, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma antibodies.
The Hillcrest Animal Hospital added this is a screening test that provides a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer. If a positive result is obtained, further test is needed. Early detection of the disorders means early and generally effective treatment.
Diagnosing the four infectious diseases
In the article published by the Grand Avenue Veterinary Clinic, a tiny blood sample is used to check four infectious disease indicators in dogs using the 4Dx test:
1. Heartworm Disease: This marker identifies the presence of heartworms or microfilariae, an internal parasite that can cause death if left untreated. Heartworm is transmitted through mosquitoesbites. A positive heartworm test reveals the presence of worms within the dog’s heart. Positive tests are usually confirmed through a second test submitted to a laboratory; if the second test comes up positive, therapy will be advised.
2. Lyme Disease: This marker recognizes antibodies related to lyme disease which is caused by bacteria spread by tick bites. The condition normally causes fever, joint stiffness, and loss of appetite. In rare cases, it can also lead to renal failure. Keep an eye out for fever, appetite loss, and joint stiffness in your dog. It is also possible for a dog to test positive for lyme disease even if the dg never exhibited symptoms. Lyme nephrosis, on the other hand, is extremely dangerous and often deadly. Protein is commonly seen in the urine of dogs suffering from renal illness.
3. Anaplasma phagocytophilum: Anaplasma is a rickettsial illness spread by deer tick bites, much like lyme illness. The symptoms are essentially similar to lyme Disease, except it can also cause platelet loss and associated bleeding issues. A positive 4Dx Anaplasma test, like a positive lyme test, indicates that your dog has been exposed to anaplasma but does not necessarily indicate that it has the illness. There is very little information available on the prevalence of seropositive dogs and their relationship to symptomatic illness. If a dog tests positive for anaplasma on the 4Dx, please watch for signs and seek treatment only if symptoms occur. Fever, joint stiffness, fatigue and evidence of prolonged bleeding are among the symptoms. Red spots on the gums, bruises, blood in the eye, and vomiting or defecating blood are all signs of prolonged bleeding.
4. Erlichia canis: Erlichia is another rickettsial illness transmitted by ticks. Bleeding problem is a primary symptom. Ehrlichia is related to lyme disease and anaplasma. The bacteria can be found in white blood cells. Infection symptoms are comparable to lyme disease and anaplasmosis. Chronic infection can also lead to renal failure.
When is the best time for performing the 4dx test on dogs?
The 4Dx test should be conducted at least once a year to protect your dog against heartworm and tick-borne infections. The 4Dx test for dogs is best performed in the spring or early summer since it tests for heartworm exposure from the previous season. Your vet should prescribe a 4Dx test for your dog about four (4) weeks following tick exposure.
Do I still need to test my dog if he is on heartworm and tick preventatives?
Even if your dog is on preventative medicine, it is best to test the dog once a year. This will show if the preventives were successful and that your dog is still protected from these infections.
Tick prevention is critical and should be administered all year. Ticks can sprout on warm days and even in the winter. However, because tick control is not always 100 percent successful, all dogs should be checked with the 4DX once a year.
The important thing to remember is that they are all avoidable vector-borne illnesses that can be fatal if left undiagnosed and untreated. Mariana Burgos