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Why Don’t Clients Give Heartworm Preventives?

STEPHEN JONES, DVM

While pet numbers in the U.S. are increasing, the number of annual heartworm preventive doses sold in the U.S. is declining. I believe this is a frightening trend, especially considering that the average number of heartworm cases per veterinary clinic rose by 21% between 2013 and 2016.1

I recently researched medication adherence in human patients2 in order to better understand why people don’t take their own medications. In the process, I learned that the reasons my clients don’t give pets heartworm preventives as directed are similar to the reasons they skip their own cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure medications.

BRIAN A DIGANGI, DVM, MS, DABVP

Relocate Dogs—Not Heartworms

by Brian A Digangi, DVM, MS, DABVP

Q. The American heartworm Society (AHS) and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) recently released a set of best practices for transporting dogs. Why?

A. The AHS and ASV saw a need for heartworm-specific transport recommendations to guide veterinarians and animal shelters. Heartworm disease has become more widespread in the U.S. over the past several decades, due in part to the increased movement of heartworm-positive dogs to regions where heartworm disease was once uncommon. When mosquitoes feed on a microfilaremic dog, they become heartworm vectors capable of transmitting heartworms to unprotected pets.

BRIAN A DIGANGI, DVM, MS, DABVP

Is it Negative or Not? The Role of Heat Pretreatment in Heartworm Testing

AHS-1708-Aug-17-Fall-Bulletin-PDF

by Brian A Digangi, DVM, MS, DABVP

Open/Download Bulletin as PDF

Veterinarians today are fortunate to have several point-of-care heartworm tests. In the majority of cases, these D. immitis antigen tests meet practitioners’ needs for speed and accuracy. However, when test results conflict with clinical expectations, the added step of heat pretreatment (HPT) of the sample should be considered.

Q. What can cause a “no antigen detected” result when the patient is infected?

A. Patient-side diagnostic tests rely on the presence of soluble heartworm antigen for the detection of heartworm infection. In cases where soluble antigen is bound to endogenous antibodies, forming an insoluble unit in the bloodstream known as an “immune complex,” the antigen is essentially blocked from detection. This blocking has been linked to several factors:

CHRISTOPHER J. REHM, DVM

AHS Survey Finds Increase In Heartworm Cases

AHS Jul 18 Summer Bulletin PDF

Is heartworm incidence up or down in your practice area?

by Christopher J Rehm, DVM

Open/Download Bulletin as PDF

The latest American Heartworm Society Heartworm Incidence Survey has uncovered both challenges and opportunities for veterinarians in practice. On one hand, heartworm incidence has inched upwards in the three years since the AHS survey was last conducted. On the other hand, the power to reverse this upward trend is, quite literally, in our hands.

CHRISTOPHER J. REHM, DVM

April is Heartworm Awareness Month

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.

Is There an Echo in Here?

CHRIS DUKE, DVM

Q. I’m a big believer in heartworm prevention, but I find myself repeating my “heartworm 101” lecture over and over to clients. Is it worth it?

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

Open/Download Bulletin as PDF

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?

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