Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Are Heartworms Winning the War?

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Sleuth the Reporter Dog - VNN Mascot


Sleuth the Reporter Dog has always believed in year-round heartworm prevention for ALL dogs…but he is also hearing reports about possible medication failures.  Is this true?  What are all the facts and what’s happening to address the concern?

1) For more than 40 years, veterinarians have prescribed safe and effective medications to help prevent heartworm disease in dogs and cats.

2) Stories from the Mississippi Delta region of the US seemed to point to product failures in recent years as dogs on heartworm prevention were testing positive for heartworms.

3) Most experts thought that the problem was actually owner compliance or could be explained by more sensitive heartworm tests.

4) But now we are learning that there is a strain of heartworms that has proved to be slightly resistant to current heartworm medications.

5) Thankfully, the strain is not very common and the incidents appear to be localized to the Mississippi Delta area.

6) Both the Companion Animal Parasite Council as well as the American Heartworm Society recommend continued use of monthly heartworm products all year round and have re-emphasized the importance of annual testing for the parasite.

7) Research is continuing to determine the full scope of this problem.  If resistance is confirmed and appears to be widespread, changes to our prevention strategies may be implemented.

8) For now, please continue to use the product recommended by your veterinarian, every month, all year round.  It is vital to test every year so that we can catch the parasite before damage becomes significant.

9) If your dog suffers from exercise intolerance, coughing or weakness, please let us know so that we can examine your pet.

10) For more trustworthy and accurate pet health information, visit www.MyVNN.com or www.PetDocsOnCall.com .