CHRISTOPHER J. REHM, DVM
APRIL IS HEARTWORM AWARENESS MONTH and the ideal time to discover the many resources available from the American Heartworm Society (AHS). Our goal: to arm you with the knowledge and tools you need to defeat this serious parasite.
Know your enemy!
Heartworms have spread to every state in the U.S. as well as many other countries worldwide. While the prevalence of heartworm disease historically has been high in the South, it’s on the rise throughout the U.S., including regions that were once considered “non-endemic.” To equip you with the latest information on heartworm prevalence, prevention and management, the AHS offers a wealth of resources on heartwormsociety.org. These include:
- Heartworm incidence map. In April, the AHS unveils a brand new heartworm incidence map. Created with data from thousands of U.S. veterinary practices and shelters, the map can help you and your clients understand the heartworm risk in your area.
- Heartworm guidelines. The AHS offers comprehensive guidelines on heartworm prevention, diagnosis and treatment in both dogs and cats. The guidelines are available in English, Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese.
- Heartworm education. The AHS hosts local, national, and international scientific symposia. You can find presentation summaries, speaker interviews, proceedings and online C.E. from these presentations on our website.
Arm your troops
Your clients are the “soldiers” in the battle against heartworm disease, and knowledge is their most important weapon. Client education can take place on multiple fronts in your practice—in the exam room, the waiting room and on your clinic website and social media pages. Along with making low-cost brochures available for use with clients, the AHS offers infographics, videos, fact sheets, slide shows and other tools that are perfect for education in and out of the clinic. Veterinarians can download and use these materials free of charge or share them directly from the AHS Facebook and Twitter pages.
Make the AHS your ally
I encourage you to become an AHS member. Membership easily pays for itself in savings on educational materials and CE., and also includes the AHS Bulletin to keep you informed on the latest heartworm information and research. The mission of the AHS is to lead the veterinary profession and the public in the understanding of heartworm disease. Through our educational efforts and research, we’re here to work with you—and to win the war on heartworms.