Studies Show Need For Increased Awareness Of Parasite Prevention

newslineParasite Prevention AwarenessParasite Prevention AwarenessSurveys confirm that heartworm and intestinal parasites remain prevalent across the U.S. Surveys confirm that heartworm and intestinal parasites remain prevalent across the U.S. Studies Show Need for Increased Awareness of Parasite Prevention

Three surveys conducted over the past year confirm that heartworm and intestinal parasites remain prevalent across the U.S., highlighting the need for improved pet owner awareness of prevention alternatives, according to Novartis Animal Health U.S. Inc. of Greensboro, N.C.

Novartis Animal Health is encouraging veterinarians and their staff to educate clients on the health risks that parasites pose to pets and families, and to promote compliance with year-round parasite preventives.

Novartis Animal Health said that the three surveys—two conducted by the company and one by the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine—show that parasite prevalence is high and compliance with preventives is low.

Novartis Animal Health’s survey of more than 1,000 veterinary clinics in 11 Western U.S. states found that heartworm is in fact an issue in that area of the country. Forty-nine percent of the responding clinics reported heartworm positive cases, totaling more than 2,300 incidents of heartworm in pets in 2005.

LSU’s School of Veterinary Medicine’s study on dogs rescued and housed in shelters after hurricanes in the Gulf Region found that one or more internal parasites were present in 59 percent of all dogs tested.

Novartis Animal Health’s other study of more than 350 animal shelters across the country that received pets displaced by hurricanes in the Gulf Region found a majority of the rescued pets tested positive for heartworm and intestinal parasites. Pets were relocated from the Gulf Region to shelters in 20 different states, including California, New York, Minnesota and North Carolina.

“These studies demonstrate that heartworm and intestinal parasites are endemic throughout most of the U.S., including regions where prevalence is historically thought to be low,” said David Stansfield, BVSc, director of professional relations, Novartis Animal Health. “Add to that the national average for compliance with heartworm preventives—five out of 12 months—and the magnitude of the issue is evident.”

Novartis Animal Health is supporting knowledge and compliance through staff educational tools, including informational resources, on-demand CE accredited online seminars, practice-building solutions and client communication tools.

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