Better heartworm data? AHS needs you

January 28, 2020

The American Heartworm Society is asking veterinarians to share heartworm incidence information from veterinary hospitals, with nationwide results to be shared in April.

Every three years, the American Heartworm Society (AHS) releases new data on the incidence of the parasite’s dreaded disease in pets. And right now is when the organization is asking for your help to get the best sample size to analyze.

Veterinarians now have the opportunity to submit their clinics’ data for the 2019 AHS Heartworm Incidence Survey. Options include filling out a printed survey that was mailed to veterinarians in late January (the completed survey can be scanned and emailed to the AHS) or simply completing the survey at heartwormsociety.org/2019survey. The deadline to submit survey data is Feb. 29, 2020.

The AHS maps, dating back to 2001, are generated every three years and used by veterinarians, animal shelters, animal rescue organizations and media to educate the pet-owning public about the threat of heartworm disease. The maps, which are built using data submitted by thousands of veterinary practices and animal shelters, also provide vital insights for veterinary professionals about trends in heartworm incidence and the spread of heartworms into new areas of the country.

“Each veterinary practice that submits data on the number of animals tested and diagnosed over the 2019 calendar year enables the AHS to create a more comprehensive and useful map,” says AHS president Chris Duke, DVM, in a release. “We urge every clinic and shelter—large or small—to take a few short minutes to submit their information.”

The survey results and the new 2019 AHS map will be made available in April as a part of Heartworm Awareness Month.