Thank you for your business and allowing us to take care of your pets. In an effort to provide the best possible care, we try to keep current on diseases that might affect your pet.
At a recent continuing education meeting in Nashville, an infectious disease expert from North Carolina State University spoke about the fact that tick-borne diseases in dogs are increasing. In many cases, dogs can become infected and not display typical signs for some time but may come down with the full blown disease at a later date. For this reason, we are now recommending an annual surveillance test for tick-borne diseases for any dog that is outside at all or might become in contact with ticks (which is pretty much all dogs in this area).
The test is a simple blood test. It requires just a few drops of blood and can be run in about 15 minutes in the hospital. In addition to the tick-borne diseases of Ehrlichiosis, Lyme Disease, and Anaplasmosis, this also tests your dog for heartworm disease. We have not typically required annual heartworm testing for dogs on preventative, but that is the current recommendation of the American Heartworm Society. Heartworm preventatives are very good and effective in 98% of the dogs who receive it monthly throughout the year. The testing is for the other 2% or in case your dog spits out the pill, vomits it up, or you forget to give the pill during a busy month.
If you have any questions about the new test or the above recommendations, please do not hesitate to call us at 865-882-6327. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Once again, thank you for letting us care for your pet.
Don Davis, DVM