Vet Groups Take On Heartworm Resistance Issues

According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) and the American Heartworm Society (AHS), current preventive strategies must be used until additional research is complete.

Resistance to heartworm products is a possibility, but current preventive strategies must be used until additional research is complete, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) and the American Heartworm Society (AHS).

The organizations made the announcement after a meeting in late August to discuss scientific and clinical field observations concerning resistance to heartworm products.

Attendees, including veterinary parasitologists and cardiologists and scientific researchers, explored the potential relationships between resistance to heartworm products and veterinary and pet owner compliance, loss of product efficacy and effective heartworm testing and treatment protocols.

Jay Stewart, DVM, president of CAPC, said the meeting reflects the continued concern of both organizations. However, continued investigation of heartworm product efficacy should not lead to an abandonment of current preventive practices, Dr. Stewart said.

Wallace Graham, DVM, president of AHS, talked about the importance of a comprehensive approach fostered by the combined efforts of the two organizations.

“We must continue to take a collaborative approach, across organizations and medical disciplines, to address concern among the public and veterinary communities about heartworm resistance,” Dr. Graham said. “We remain open to this concern, and believe cases of resistance to be geographically limited and, in some cases, related to issues of compliance.”

A consensus statement based on current scientific information and clinical observations is in the works, according to CAPC and AHS.

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