Veterinary symposium reveals latest heartworm research

September 26, 2019
dvm360, dvm360 November 2019, Volume 50, Issue 11

American Heartworm Society promises to soon share educational highlights from its 16th Triennial Heartworm Symposium.

As a part of its mission to better understand heartworm disease and reduce its impact, the American Heartworm Society (AHS) held its 16th Triennial Heartworm Symposium in New Orleans this month.

“Heartworm disease remains one of the most challenging diseases faced by the veterinary profession,” said program co-chair Marisa Ames, DVM, DACVIM, associate professor at the Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in the release about the event. “Whereas heartworm disease was once considered a problem confined to areas such as the Southeastern U.S. and Mississippi Delta, it's now recognized as a nationwide problem in the U.S. as well as a growing threat in many other parts of the world. This elevates the importance of understanding heartworm disease and discovering new strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”

Proceedings from the event will be made available to veterinary professionals who didn't attend in in the peer-reviewed journal Veterinary Parisitology, but topics included:

> The role of climate, microclimates, severe weather events, animal transport, mosquito feeding habits and other factors in heartworm transmission

> Research on products to prevent heartworm in dogs and cats

> A discussion on the critical role of the immune response in heartworm prevention

> Studies on heartworm antigen and microfilaria tests as well as strategies clearing antigen/antibody immune complexes

> New insights on heartworm treatment, including a study on doxycycline vs. minocycline and additional strategies for managing dogs with severe heartworm disease

> Practical insights on compliance for canine and feline heartworm prevention

Additionally, new leadership was announced, with current AHS president Christopher Rehm, DVM, turning over the reins to incoming president and practice owner Chris Duke, DVM, and incoming vice president Doug Carithers, DVM, director of applied research and publications at Boehringer Ingelheim.

Incoming president Dr. Duke explained his interest in the many approaches researchers and veterinarians are taking today in dealing with heartworms.

“Scientists are approaching the prevention and management of heartworm disease from many angles,” said Dr. Duke, a co-owner of Bienville Animal Medical Center in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, in the release.

For those looking to learn more, additional information from the conference will be provided on AHS' website and on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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