Whether you’re worried about heartworm, ehrlichia, lyme, feline leukemia or those pesky intestinal parasites, you’re in for a treat: a simple mail-in kit that makes at-home diagnosis a breeze.

All you need to do is...

“Simply collect a small blood sample in the vial (recommended during a nail trim), place in the pre-paid envelope, and mail to the testing lab.”

Which raises the following questions: 

1. How much blood can you get from a “nail trim”?

2. Why would you want an at-home test for these diseases, anyway?

Luckily, the makers of these handy testing kits, Perfect Pet Products, have a ready answer: 

“Save Time & Stress: No need to make a stressful and time-consuming trip to the veterinarian. The recommended nail trim that you can do at home is routine and causes less distress and discomfort than collecting blood from a vein.”

To which I answer: Seriously? Bloodletting via toenail has to be the worst idea EVER. I recommend this approach only if you’re sure you want to earn your pet’s eternal distrust around her feet. Though I’ll agree that trips to the vet can be time consuming and stressful for everyone, collecting blood from a vein is roundly tolerated relative to even the most humane kind of nail trim.

Then there’s the next selling point:

“Save Money: No office visit and the opportunity to purchase online prescription medication [to prevent heartworm infection] at up to 50% off.”

My rejoinder:

Not even close. Because it’s not legal for you to sign your own prescriptions. Your veterinarian still has to attach her name to the script that presupposes your dog is heartworm-free. Now, we can argue over the fairness of this regulatory reality but lying to the public isn’t helping anyone get their heartworm meds any cheaper. 

And what utility would an at-home feline leukemia test offer? What would you do with a Lyme-positive result? The parasite findings I can get behind. Testing a several-day-old sample, however, I cannot.

What’s your take?