A Combination Heartworm, Lyme Ehrlichia and Anaplasmosis also called a 4DX test. This test is positive for the two most common tick borne diseases we see: Lyme and Anaplasmosis. 

Heartworm test – Mill Valley Veterinary Clinic uses a combination snap test to test for heartworm. The test takes about 10 minutes to run and tests for four different diseases. Heartworm is a worm that lives in the heart and is spread by mosquitoes; this disease can cause heart failure. Lyme Disease is caused by a bacteria transmitted by ticks and can cause kidney failure and arthritis. Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by a bacterium and transmitted by ticks. Anaplasmosis can cause joint pain and can affect blood clotting. The final disease tested by the 4dx test is Ehrlichiosis. Ehrlichiosis is caused by a bacterium that can cause a low platelet count or a low number or red blood cells. This is also a bacteria transmitted by ticks. 

  •  Heartworm treatment and prevention – Heartworm is a parasite spread by mosquitoes. This worm migrates through the bloodstream and lives in the left ventricle chamber of the heart. Heartworm disease is treated with an arsenic based compound, which is injected into the back muscles of affected dogs. Treatment is expensive and painful. The clinic does its best to administer pain medication after treatment and sedation during the injections. While treatment is expensive, prevention is easy and affordable. The clinic offers proheart injections, which are given every six months by the doctors. In addition, there are also monthly chewable tablets that prevent heartworm and several parasites that live in the intestines. The clinic advises testing pets for heartworm every year as there have been positive heartworm cases in pets that are on heartworm preventative, in these uncommon cases the pharmaceutical companies have covered treatment provided the pet was receiving heartworm prevention. Owners may elect to test pets that have been on year round prevention every other year.


CBC – complete blood count (CBC) as the name implies is a count of the different types of cells in a sample. This includes red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The information provided by the CBC helps doctors diagnose, treat and monitor the effectiveness of treatment in a variety of conditions.
Comprehensive Blood Profile – The comprehensive blood profile is sometimes called a surgical blood profile. This test monitors kidney function, liver function and electrolytes among other things. This is an important profile for telling doctors how pets are metabolizing medications including anesthesia.
Phenobarbital Level – The clinic recently became able to run Phenobarbital testing in house. This test used to require sending a blood sample out to a lab located a few states away. Then calling the owner and discussing the results. Then having the owners stop back into the hospital if the medication needed to be adjusted. Now the test typically takes about 15 minutes. This means that it can be one stop and any medication adjustments can be made that same day. In addition, since the clinic does not have to send the samples out there is no shipping charge, so the cost of the test has decreased.
Fecal – fecals are used to test for a variety of intestinal parasites in small animals. This test takes about 8 minutes to run.
Fecal egg count – Fecal egg counts are used to determine how many and of what kind of parasites a horse may have. The goal of a fecal egg count is to determine if a worming program is effective. The goal is to test a fecal and determine what kind and how many parasites a horse, cow or goat are carrying. Then, if needed, the animal is dewormed. In three weeks another sample is tested to determine if the dewormer was effective. It has been found that some animals are high shedders and others are low shedders and some animals are more inclined to carry high worm burdens. Knowing which animals in a herd are high shedding means that you can target deworming schedules to reduce the amount of parasites that the high shedders are producing.  Fecal egg counts require a few extra steps and take about 15 minutes to run.
Urinalysis – Urine carries a lot of information about the body, from kidney function to glucose level. The doctor’s use the information gathered in a urinalysis to rule out or rule in anything from diabetes to bladder infections. There are two components to a urinalysis, a urine strip and urine sediment. The urine strip measures the presence of certain compounds from BUN to bilirubin. The clinic has a new machine that reads the urine strip. This takes some of the human error out of the urinalysis. The second component is the urine sediment. This is when a sample is spun down in a centrifuge and examined under a microscope for things like crystals, bacteria and cells. The presence or absence and number of these items can indicate a variety of conditions that help the doctors make a diagnosis and select a medication. This test takes about 10 minutes to run.

Coggins testing – Equine Infectious Anemia is a highly contagious viral disease. The signs include decreased platelet numbers, decreased red blood cells, swelling of the legs and decreased appetite. Equine Infectious Anemia is a disease transmitted by bloodsucking insects such as mosquitoes. There is no vaccine or treatment for the disease. There is a test called a coggins test. A coggins test is required by most shows and before shipping a horse out of state. A coggins test is good for anywhere from 6 -24 months depending on the state and event. The clinic is pleased to offer electronic coggins. This test requires three photos of your horse, a front view and two side views. 

Mill Valley Veterinary Clinic