Country Corners Veterinary Hospital Offering Free Heartworm/Lyme/Anaplasma/Ehrlichia Test in the Month of October
Written by Dr. Shannon Sullivan
According to national heartworm infection statistics, Butte County is the number one county in California and Auburn is the worst city in California for heartworm infection. We are located right between these areas and our community has a very high heartworm infection rate. In the last year we have had 34 heartworm positive dogs and 39 positive Lyme disease cases. There are no signs of early heartworm infection. As the disease progresses lung and heart damage occur leading to heart failure. The drug that treats heartworm (immiticide) is currently on manufacturer special order indefinitely which makes heartworm prevention even more important. Heartworm infection has increasingly become a problem as up to 75% of the dogs in the area are not routinely tested nor on heartworm preventative, while inexpensive (the cost of a Starbuck’s coffee per month), is often overlooked. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes and being an inside or small dog DOES NOT protect your pet from infection. Because we are seeing resistance to Ivermectin, it is even more important to screen yearly for heartworm even if your pet is on preventative. Also, if you get your prevention from a licensed veterinarian and test yearly, your pet’s treatment if they acquire heartworm is paid for by the prevention manufacturer. As a public service to our community we are offering free 4DX tests (a $38 value) in the month of October with every annual wellness exam in which 12 months of heartworm prevention are purchased. Common wildlife reservoirs for heartworm disease include coyotes, bear, raccoons and other wild carnivores. The 4DX test also screens for Lyme disease and Anaplasma which are very common in the foothills. We have had 32 cases of Anaplasma in the last 12 months. Both of these diseases cause cyclic fevers, platelet and bleeding problems as well as organ damage. Lyme, Anplasma and Ehrlichia are transmitted by ticks that are very small and difficult to see. Appointments are filling quickly for our free testing program. Please call 530-692-9552 if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity.