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Digital Tools for Parasite Prevention

In the spirit of last month being Heartworm Awareness Month, VMD Tech takes a look at some techy tools to help you educate your clients and keep your patients safe from heartworms and other creepy-crawlies.

The American Heartworm Society (AHS)

The American Heartworm Society is the world’s authority on the subject of heartworms. Their website contains numerous resources for veterinarians (treatment guidelines, an incidence map, printable posters and much more).

It also contains handy information for pet owners (an explanation of the heartworm life cycle, videos explaining the importance of early heartworm detection and prevention, even printable activity sheets for kids).

They also have a nifty Heartworm Treatment Dosage Calculator App (image above). It works very simply: enter your patient’s weight with a therapy start date and the interactive website creates a printable or e-mailable plan for therapy and follow-up testing – of course in accordance with the AHS Canine Heartworm Guidelines.

Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC)

The CAPC website is full of useful information on all things parasites, from recommendations for prevention and control to suggested testing protocols to client education resources.

The website also includes clickable, zoomable parasite prevalence maps for tick-borne diseases, intestinal parasites, and heartworms.

These resources are great for vacationing clients in need of advice on geographic parasite prevention or clients who have just moved into an area. The online maps are also available as a free iOS app for added convenience.

American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)

AAHA has an online CE program called the Parasite Counselor Program, which aims to help animal practice staff, as well as veterinary and nursing students, better understand and educate pet owners on parasitic diseases and their prevention.

The program is made up of four modules (ticks, fleas, heartworm, internal parasites), each consisting of about one hour of video lectures, as well as tests and a final exam. After completion of all four modules you will receive an AAHA Certificate of Achievement for the AAHA Parasite Counselor Program.

Currently, the first two modules (fleas and ticks) are available on the website, with the other two announced for this spring. Enrollment in the program is free, but requires a login on the AAHA Education website (also free).

AAHA has also launched Heartworm, a free iOS app designed to aid staff in educating clients on the risks that heartworms, whipworms, and roundworms pose to pets.


About the Author

Dr. Marit Veeber is a small animal clinician from Estonia. Her special interests include emergency and internal medicine. In her spare time she likes to read, hike, take pictures of stuff and play around with mobile apps. She also tweets about veterinary medicine and manages social media for the European Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society.

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