Monday, April 23, 2012

Heartworms


Are the Heartworms (and other parasites) in your neighborhood?

Veterinarians spend a lot of time discussing preventive care to keep the nasty, ugly and disease causing parasites away from our pets.  Now, there is a tool that might help you, the pet owner, understand just how prevalent these disgusting pests are in your local area.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) has created aParasite Prevalence Map where you can actually get down to the level of the county in your particular state and see how many pets are testing positive for parasites like heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and even diseases like Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis.
I think some of you might be surprised at the number of parasites in your neighborhood!
Also released today was a press release stating that CAPC expects most areas of the country to have higher than normal populations of mosquitoes…and thus higher risks for heartworm transmission as well.
There is a lot of confusion over heartworms. Many people think that heartworms have developed a strong resistance to the preventives or that the preventives never really worked well in the first place.  As Dr. Jim explains in this Veterinary News Network article from 2011, the situation is a little more complex than most what most people believe.  There is also a video version of the story as well.
Bottom line, talk with your veterinarian about the risks your pet has for specific parasites in your area.  Follow his or her recommended guidelines for prevention and the odds are that your pet won’t show up as a positive statistic in the CAPC Parasite Prevalence map!

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