SNAP Diagnostic Tests
SNAP Diagnostic testing refers to a variety of quick and convenient blood tests that can be performed and analyzed right in our office. SNAP Tests are used for different purposes, including:
- SNAP Heartworm RT Test—screens for heartworm infection
- SNAP 3Dx Test—simultaneously screens for heartworm disease, Lyme disease, and ehrlichiosis
- SNAP 4Dx Test—simultaneously screens for heartworm disease, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis
These tests are extremely accurate and are a good way to identify infections in your pets. It is also very convenient and minimally invasive because it only requires a very small amount of blood and can typically take just a few minutes to perform. Based on the results, we may recommend additional follow up testing if we see positive testing for parasites, worms or diseases.
A parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis causes Heartworm Disease is typically transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. At the point of infection they are microscopic larvae that then eventually grow in the lungs and heart of infected dogs. In many cases Heartworm Disease isn’t fatal, many dogs develop permanent damage which can result in later heart failure.
Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis
Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis are tick transmitted by tick bites. Because ticks are known to carry many diseases and dogs can be bitten by multiple ticks, they can be infected by Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis can occur near the same time.
Some dogs that are infected with these diseases and parasites do not show any obvious symptoms. When they do present, they are often times very similar and also difficult to distinguish from other illnesses. Signs include fever, lethargy, joint pain and lameness. Sometimes they can present coughing, weight loss and breathing problems. Research has shown that if a dog is infected with a combination of diseases and parasites they present symptoms more frequently.
Testing is a standard part of our commitment to providing high quality veterinarian services. Regular testing ensures that your dogs remain strong and healthy, and testing should be proactive if any signs of ticks are found on your dogs.