Triennial American Heartworm Society Report Released

Roo is sweet, active, strong and healthy.
Playing in the Kentucky snow doesn’t exempt Roo from heartworm risk. She takes her heartworm preventive 12 months each year.

The American Heartworm Society has just released its 2016 Heartworm Incidence Survey results, calling it The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The triennial survey gathers information from over 4200 veterinarians across the country, from clinics and shelters.

The Good
• Veterinarians who reported reductions in cases credit better compliance with monthly
heartworm preventive administration.
• Twenty percent of doctors reported a reduction in cases in their practice areas.
Good compliance means giving heartworm preventive on schedule every 30-31 days.

The Bad
• No state is heartworm-free. Therefore, dogs in all 50 states need to be on heartworm
preventive, and all dogs need to take their medicine year-round, regardless of climate.
Reference AHS’ “Think Twelve” program for full guidelines.
• The Southeastern United States remains the highest area of heartworm incidence, and
with good reason. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, and there is no place in the country where mosquitoes thrive better than the hot, wet southeastern states.
• Approximately 7 in 8 surveyed practices diagnosed cases during the 2016 calendar year.

The Ugly
• Veterinarians report a 21.7% increase in cases since the 2013 survey.
• While the 2016 Incidence Map may not look much different from its predecessors, the
numbers indicate that almost a quarter more dogs and cats were infected.

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