A guide to Standard Test for Dogs

Before your dog leaves the shelter, we run 4 tests on adult dogs to rule out some common diseases / infections.

4DX, Giardia, Babesiosia & Brucella

4DX / Caniv 4

  • 4DX (brand name, more expensive), or Caniv 4. Is the same test, just doesn’t cost as much.
  • A small sample of blood is drawn and used to test for the presence of:
  • Heartworm antigens
  • Erlichia antigens
  • Anaplasma antibodies
  • Lyme Disease antibodies / or Leishmaniasis (test kits vary)

If a second line appears on any of the 4 sections, then this indicates the need for further investigation.

  • Heartworms – caused when bitten by an infected mosquito. Not transmissible dog to dog or dog to human. Further investigation usually means an echo to determine the level of infection and the course of treatment. Can be fatal if the infestation is great, but many dogs are caught and treated early. Treatment is normally with ivermectin, or a course of antibiotics plus regular heart worm strength flea and worm treatment (available from your vet). .
  • Erlichia – caused when a dog is bitten by an infected tick. Signs of infection can be anemia and bleeding. Treatment is normally with a month long course of doxycycline antibiotic. Transport delayed until treatment completed.
  • Anaplasma – caused by the bite of an infected tick. Can cause joint pain, swelling and lameness. Treatment is 2-4 weeks of doxycycline.
  • Lyme Disease – again, caused by the bite of an infected tick and similar clinical signs as above, including lethargy. Treatment is a course of antibiotics.
  • Leishmaniasis – see below


  • This can be run as a separate test, upon request, but will incur an extra donation.
  • We do not run this test as standard because leishmaniasis is not prevalent in Romania.
  • Parasitic infection caused by infected small sandfly bite. Can affect the skin and organs. Some signs are fever, lack of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, plus others. Treatment includes drugs, special diets, intravenous fluids. Prognosis is not usually good, though dogs can be managed well for years.


  • An intestinal infection caused by a small parasite. Clinical signs may be diarrhea.
  • Giardia cysts may be present in water or the ground.
  • Treatment is metronidazole antibiotics for between 3 – 10 days depending on severity.

Babesiosis – SNAP for Gibsoni (on the left) Blood Smear for Canis (right)

  • Caused by a tiny parasite which enters the bloodstream from the bite of an infected tick.
  • Infection can cause severe anemia.
  • An infected dog needs two injections given two weeks apart, and supportive treatment such as intravenous fluids and blood transfusions.
  • Sometimes babesiosis cannot be totally eliminated from the body and dogs can experience flare ups, particularly at times of stress.


  • Highly contagious bacterial infection.
  • Most common in unsterilised adult dogs.
  • Dogs are exposed to the disease via contact with infected bodily fluids, licking contaminated urine or other discharges, or sniffing contaminated urine or other discharges or other mucous membranes (eyes).
  • There is no treatment. Sometimes you can get a false positive, so if a dog tests positive, then it will be tested further, and should two positive tests be obtained, then a dog will not travel.


Please consult your vet prior to adopting from us should you have any concerns, or need further clarification regarding these tests. ?