While heartworm prevention is vital, “the urgent need to reduce the risk of virus transmission during the current [COVID-19] pandemic has rendered the delivery of routine veterinary care problematic,” the organization notes on its website. “As a result, veterinarians are faced with questions about annual heartworm testing and refills on heartworm preventive prescriptions, as well as interruptions and/or delays to adulticide treatment for diagnosed heartworm infections.”
The updated guidelines provide recommendations for testing, prevention and treatment of heartworm in pets during the pandemic. AHS describes several scenarios to help doctors determine when they can safely delay preventive measures and treatment.
“The intent of these recommendations is to provide clarity and support to veterinarians who are working to provide the best-possible care and treatment of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic,” AHS says. “Understanding that the clinic environment is dynamic and that the protection of public health may dictate further adjustments, the American Heartworm Society will revisit these recommendations within the next three months or earlier if conditions necessitate it.”
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