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Can YOU Outsmart a Mosquito?

TOM NELSON, DVM

Q. While the American Heartworm Society (AHS) recommends year-round heartworm prevention for dogs and cats, many veterinarians and owners take a seasonal approach. What is the AHS’ rationale?

CHARLES THOMAS NELSON, DVM

Make Heartworm Preventive Reminders a Priority

AHS-1606-Jun-16-Summer-Bulletin

by Charles Thomas (Tom) Nelson, DVM

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Q. How significant a problem is heartworm compliance?

A. In a 2014 American Heartworm Society survey, veterinarians were asked if the incidence of heartworm disease in their area had increased over the past three years, decreased or stayed the same.

  • Among the 21% of veterinarians who perceived a drop in incidence, 74% attributed the drop to more pet owners administering preventives, while 61% cited more preventives being administered year-round and on time.
  • Meanwhile, among the 19% who perceived an increase in heartworm incidence, 61% attributed the rise to poor compliance— either not administering preventives or failing to give doses on time.

Adulticide Treatment: Minimizing Melarsomine Complications

STEPHEN JONES, DVM

Q. Why is melarsomine recommended by the American Heartworm Society (AHS), given the potential for complications during adulticide treatment?

Heartworm Prevention Needed Nationwide

MATT MILLER, DVM

Q. The American Heartworm Society (AHS) Guidelines recommend heartworm prevention nationwide. Is it really necessary to use preventives in areas where heartworm is not endemic?

JOHN MCCALL, MS, PhD, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, DEPARTMENT OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE

The Mighty Mosquito

AHS-1511-Nov-15-Winter-Bulletin

The Role of Control in Heartworm Prevention

by John McCall, MS, PHD

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Q. Mosquitoes are an essential player in the life cycle of Dirofilaria immitis, which causes heartworm infection. What do veterinarians need to know about the role of mosquito control in heartworm prevention?

A. Heartworm disease is considered the most important vector-borne disease of dogs in the U.S. and many other parts of the world. Targeting vectors as part of a preventive approach to controlling mosquito-borne human diseases has been critically important for decades, but has received much less attention in companion animal disease prevention.

The Truth About Testing in Cats

CLARKE ATKINS, DVM, DIPLOMATE ACVIM (Internal Medicine and Cardiology)

Feline heartworm disease (HWD) has a low index of suspicion and is significantly under-diagnosed. Knowing when to test cats for HWD—and whether to test them—is important. The challenge boils down to this:  no single test can accurately detect heartworms at all stages in cats. Thoroughly understanding the limitations of antigen and antibody tests is necessary to utilizing these assays with confidence.

Managing Heartworm Disease in Shelter Animals

MARTHA SMITH-BLACKMORE, DVM

Heartworm disease (HWD), caused by the mosquito-borne nematode Dirofilaria immitis, is endemic in most areas of the United States, including urban areas where most of the U.S. population (about 80%) lives.

Cases in Point: Why the AHS Guidelines Matter

ELIZABETH CLYDE DRUIN, DVM

The American Heartworm Society (AHS) guidelines for heartworm prevention, diagnosis and treatment are much more than reference documents. They equip veterinarians like me to make life-saving differences in my patients’ lives.

Heartworm Compliance: Take a Team Approach

CHRISTOPHER J. REHM, DVM

The American Heartworm Society (AHS) has developed almost 30 pages of guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heartworm disease in dogs and cats.1 But the AHS’ two basic precepts are summed up in just 12 words: test every 12 months and prevent heartworm disease 12 months a year. While this sounds simple, achieving compliance can be challenging.

Making the Case for Heartworm Prevention in the Western U.S.

ROBERT STANNARD, DVM

There's no question among veterinarians that heartworm prevention should be a priority in the southeastern U.S., where large reservoirs of infected animals and high mosquito populations fuel the highest heartworm rates in the country. But what if you practice in an area less renowned for heartworm?

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