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In the News

The American Heartworm Society is the leading resource on heartworm disease, and our mission is to lead the veterinary profession and the public in the understanding of this serious disease. Every year, hundreds of stories are written on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of heartworm, as well as on the plight of affected pets. These stories are an important way of reaching both veterinary professionals and pet owners with information they need to know about heartworm disease.

The American Heartworm Society is led by a board of directors comprised of veterinarians and specialists in the fields of veterinary parasitology and internalmedicine. As leaders in the fight against heartworm disease, they are available as resources and authors of related stories.

Members of the media are encouraged to contact the American Heartworm Society for information, visuals and interviews about heartworm disease. Please contact Sue O’Brien at [email protected] or call 319-231-6129. All other inquiries, please email: [email protected]

 


 

News & Alerts

Relocating heartworm-positive dogs in dangerous times

In a perfect world, any dog diagnosed with heartworms would undergo treatment and recovery prior to travel with their owner or, in the case of shelter dogs, being transported for adoption purposes.

But in a world fraught with a pandemic, hurricanes, and wildfires, delaying travel isn’t always possible for heartworm-positive dogs, especially for rescue dogs in need of rehoming.

That’s why the American Heartworm Society (AHS) and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) have issued updated joint recommendations to safeguard the health of heartworm-positive dogs while ensuring that infected animals don’t become vectors for heartworm transmission.

American Heartworm Society announces new recommendations

In an ideal world, any dog diagnosed with heartworms would undergo adulticide treatment and recovery prior to travel with an owner or being transported for purposes of adoption. In the real world, delaying travel is not always possible for heartworm-positive dogs, especially for rescued dogs in need of rehoming. To help guide veterinarians, shelter personnel and others on the front lines of animal rescue, the American Heartworm Society (AHS) and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) have issued a new set of joint recommendations designed to safeguard the health of infected dogs while ensuring that infected animals do not become vectors for heartworm transmission.

Safely Transport Heartworm-Positive Dogs

Rehoming. A move. Accompanying an owner on a trip. Such situations can mean that dogs diagnosed with heartworms must travel. The American Heartworm Society and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians recently released joint transport recommendations designed to safeguard the health of infected dogs while ensuring they do not become vectors for heartworm transmission.

 

Heartworm prevalence in dogs versus cats: Multiple diagnostic modalities provide new insights

Highlights

  • Prevalence of adult heartworm (HW) infection was 4 % in cats and 28 % in dogs.
  • Combining antigen and antibody testing led to an overall 19 % positive cats.
  • Prevalence did not differ between dogs and cats with added feline antibody testing.
  • Dirofilaria repens microfilariae were identified in one dog and one cat.
  • Acanthocheilonema reconditum microfilariae were identified in four dogs.

“Doctor, I missed a heartworm dose!”

Addressing pandemic-related lapses in heartworm prophylaxis

By Tom Nelson, DVM

When the COVID pandemic hit North America in March, the immediate goal of government leaders and public health officials was to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and avoid overwhelming human health-care systems. Lines were quickly drawn between “essential” and “nonessential” services, with definitions varying from state to state. In most states, veterinary personnel were considered essential workers and pet owners were allowed continued access to veterinary care; however, for a time, this was limited for many to emergency medical services.

The State of Heartworm Incidence in the U.S.

The 2019 AHS Heartworm Incidence Survey shows that heartworms maintain a stubborn hold in the United States.

Chris DukeDVM
Doug CarithersDVM

Changes in weather patterns. Lapses in preventive medication compliance. Pet relocation. These factors and more were cited in a recent survey of U.S. veterinarians as factors contributing to the rise and fall of heartworm incidence in their practice areas.
 
To help veterinary professionals, shelter personnel, and pet owners understand heartworm trends in their areas, the American Heartworm Society (AHS) began tracking U.S. heartworm incidence in January 2002. Since then, the AHS Heartworm Incidence Survey has been conducted every 3 years, using heartworm testing data submitted by veterinary practices, reference laboratories, and animal shelters. Following the analysis of survey results, a U.S. heartworm incidence map is generated to provide a visual representation of the spread and severity of heartworm infections.
 

Revert Back to Pre-Pandemic Heartworm Practices

As practices resume routine wellness checks, veterinarians should ensure patients are protected from parasites, AHS says

While the COVID pandemic is not yet over, for veterinarians, it continues to be “business as usual” for heartworm prevention.

5 Fall Tips for Protecting your Pet’s Health

(BPT) - Whether fall is when you switch out your exercise regimen or schedule your annual flu shot, staying healthy is at the top of most “to do” lists right now. Just remember your four-legged family members when considering seasonal changes to your wellness program. Fall is the perfect time to take steps to keep pets healthy, too.

 

No State is Heartworm Free

An American Heartworm Society survey of approximately 6,000 veterinary practices and shelters determined that heartworm disease continues to be diagnosed in all 50 states.

Managing heartworm during the COVID-19 pandemic

Heartworm management is a cornerstone of pet health care, but the need to reduce the risk of the COVID-19 virus has triggered questions from veterinarians. The American Heartworm Society has released recommendations to help.

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