Massive canine heartworm study planned

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Jun 18, 2008
By dvm360.com staff

The American Heartworm Society is on the cusp of what it calls the most extensive study of canine heartworm incidence to date, with a survey going out to more than 40,000 veterinary hospitals this summer, according to society president Dr. Sheldon Rubin.

The survey will ask hospitals to report the number of dogs diagnosed with and treated for heartworm disease in 2007. Results will be compared to incidence in 2004. A second survey is planned for 2010 to determine trends in heartworm disease over time. Clinics, hospitals, and animal shelters will also be able to complete the survey online at www.heartwormsociety.org/hwsurvey.

The goal of the study, organizers say, is to get more dogs on year-round prevention. "We hope conveying the severity of this disease through actual numbers will help veterinarians encourage year-round prevention with pet owners and eventually move toward eradicating this easily preventable disease," Dr. Rubin says. For more information, visit the American Heartworm Society's Web site by clicking here.

The American Heartworm Society last year launched a campaign to educate veterinarians and pet owners about the dangers of feline heartworm disease. The KNOW Heartworms campaign is conducted in partnership with the American Association of Feline Practitioners and Pfizer Animal Health. To learn more, click here.