Evaluation of heartworm prevalence in dogs in Colorado
Study evaluate the correlation between dog importation and heartworm prevalence in dogs in Colorado.
A study evaluated data from the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) and the Colorado Department of Agriculture Pet Animal Care Facilities Program for the prevalence of heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) in Colorado from 2013 to 2017.
More than 114,000 dogs were imported into Colorado by over 130 animal shelters and rescue organizations. This is approximately 9.5% of the total dog population of Colorado which was estimated to be 1.2 million in 2017. The majority of dogs were shipped to Colorado from states with higher heartworm prevalence, with dogs imported from New Mexico accounting for just over 30%. Nearly half (49%) of the dogs relocated by these three organizations came from either Texas or Oklahoma. Approximately 1/3 of animal welfare organizations reportedly test for heartworm infection, treat, or provide heartworm prevention prior to transport. According to the CAPC, prevalence of heartworms in Colorado dogs has increased 67.5% between 2013-2017.
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