SALEM, Ore., April 18, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), the leading source
According to CAPC, the expansive nature of heartworm is partially attributed to the hot and wet weather over a two-year span. Shifting weather patterns have created ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes across the country. Mosquitoes transmit the parasite that causes heartworm disease which can be deadly to pets. Another contributing factor is the relocation of many unknown heartworm positive dogs across the country, who survived these dangerous storms.
Heartworm isn't the only parasite pet owners will need to be watchful for. CAPC also predicts the spread of Lyme disease into non-endemic areas including the Dakotas, Iowa, Missouri, southern Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. A Lyme disease agent is transmitted by ticks and is spreading as the white-tailed deer population grows and migratory birds carry ticks to new areas.
"Our annual forecasts provide critical and important information to help veterinarians and pet owners understand parasites are a true risk to both pets and people," said Dr. Dwight Bowman, CAPC board member and professor of parasitology at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. "This year, there are significant shifts in prevalence, making our maps a critical educational tool for veterinary hospitals, and allowing veterinarians and pet owners to see that parasites are ever changing and widespread, sometimes surprisingly so."
The forecasts support CAPC's recommendation for annual testing and having pets on preventative treatment year-round. For 2018, CAPC predicts the following risk areas for parasite-related diseases:
CAPC offers prevalence data that localizes reported parasitic disease activity at the county level for veterinarians to use in their discussions about annual testing and year-round protection. This information is available for free at the CAPC website http://www.petsandparasites.org. Pet owners can use these maps as a reminder of the importance of year-round protection.
The Parasite Forecasts represent the collective expert opinion of academic parasitologists who engage in ongoing research and data interpretation to better understand and monitor vector-borne disease agent transmission and changing life cycles of parasites. The annual CAPC Parasite Forecasts are based on many factors including temperature, precipitation and population density.
The Companion Animal Parasite Council (http://www.capcvet.org) is an independent not-for-profit foundation comprised of parasitologists, veterinarians, medical, public health and other professionals that provides information for the optimal control of internal and external parasites that threaten the health of pets and people. Formed in 2002, the CAPC works to help veterinary professionals and pet owners develop the best practices in parasite management that protect pets from parasitic infections and reduce the risk of zoonotic parasite transmission.
SOURCE Companion Animal Parasite Council
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