The 4DX snap test that we use also tests for Lyme, Anaplasm, and Erhlichiosis, all of which are tick borne diseases. However, these are all antibody tests (rather than antigen tests), meaning that a positive result only indicates that the dog has been exposed to the disease (thus the dog has built up antibodies against it). It does not tell you whether or not the dog has an active infection. For that you need to do more blood work. Some vets will treat dogs with doxy just based on the results of the antibody test (even if the dog has no symptoms), which I personally think is silly. It is one thing if the dog is symptomatic, but depending on where you live, exposure to these diseases (Lyme and Anaplasm, anyway) is extremely common. Yes, Lyme never truly goes away (even if the animal appears to have been cured, it is essentially just in remission). I live in an area where tick borne disease is rampant (essentially every dog and horse in the state has been exposed), and I've seen both approaches. Obviously, like anything else, deciding whether or not to pursue treatment really needs to be done on a case-by-case basis. But my personal feelings are why give the animal medication it probably doesn't need if it is a healthy, non-symptomatic dog that may or may not have an active infection. If the dog does not have an active infection, at best treatment won't do anything, and at worst it will cost money, contribute to antibiotic resistance, and could cause undesired side effects.
In other words, the information that this test provides about
tick borne disease is only mildly useful. It is of more use if the dog is sick, as you can confirm exposure
to disease, but if the dog is healthy, the results usually are inconsequential. You will also get a positive result for Lyme on the snap test if the dog has been vaccinated for Lyme disease.
the difference in the amount of blood they took: for the snap test, only 3 drops of blood are needed, so we can get by with a very small amount. For any of the other tests, however, you need several cc's. It is easier and faster to get a larger volume of blood from the neck than the legs (the jugular vein is much larger), especially in small dogs and cats.
Post Edited (skeye) : 7/6/2013 10:46:23 PM (GMT-6)