The American Heartworm Society (AHS), whose mission it is to lead the Veterinary Profession & the Public in the understanding of Heartworm disease, recommends annual heartworm testing and year-round heartworm prevention for five reasons:
- More than a million pets in the U.S. have heartworm disease.
- Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states.
- Both cats and dogs contract heartworm disease.
- Heartworm disease can be fatal.
- Prevention is safe and cost-effective.
April is National Heartworm Awareness Month and to aid in their public awareness campaign, AHS has initiated the Think 12 Resource Center. Here the American Heartworm Society provides educational materials to help pet owners understand the need to administer heartworm preventives 12 months a year and test pets for heartworm once a year. Year-round prevention and annual testing are recommended by AHS and form the foundation of their guidelines for heartworm prevention and diagnosis.
New Think 12 materials and tools are produced each month, and are made available to veterinary professionals and pet owners free of charge. Think 12 materials can be downloaded and displayed, printed as handouts—or used in clinic newsletters or on social media platforms. Check the Think 12 Resource Center frequently for new materials or browse through our archives for educational tools on the topic of your choice.
For more information on this topic, visit the AHS website.