The American Heartworm Society (AHS) has named Banfield Pet Hospital as a new industry partner and Martha Smith-Blackmore, DVM, as a new executive board member.
Wallace Graham, DVM, president of AHS, said Dr. Smith-Blackmore brings a new understanding of the challenges of shelter pets to the organization. She is the current president of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, and a faculty member at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.
“As veterinarians, we know that tough economic times can mean fewer veterinary visits and skipped preventive medications,” Dr. Graham said. “It’s a crucial time to keep our focus on heartworm and provide up-to-date information on this disease to both veterinarians and pet owners.”
The mission of AHS is to bring awareness and prevalence of heartworm disease to veterinarians and the public. The society offers guidelines on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention in companion animals. AHS sponsors continuing education sessions for veterinarians, pet owner outreach, a triennial heartworm incidence survey and heartworm research.
“We strongly support the mission of AHS and actively promote annual testing and year-round heartworm protection,” said Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, senior vice president and chief medical officer of Banfield Pet Hospital. “In our own analysis of data from more than two million dogs and almost half a million cats, we determined that heartworm disease is among the top three disease risks for pets in the southern U.S. Education and awareness are vital to reducing this risk.”