Why Have Heartworm Cases in Washington State Increased So Significantly?

When we got our first dog in 2002, our vet told us we didn’t need to give him heartworm prevention medication because so few cases were ever reported in Washington.

But when I took one of our dogs in for an annual check up last month, the vet said he should be tested for heartworm because it has become more prevalent in Washington over the last few years.

To confirm the increase in heartworm cases I contacted Dr. Brian Joseph, the State Veterinarian at the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Joseph oversees the Department’s Animal Health Program. Veterinarians send him monthly reports regarding how many cases of heartworm they find.

He confirmed that heartworm cases have risen in Washington over the last few years and gave 3 reasons for the increase:

climate change
lack of prevention
unscrupulous rescue groups that bring heartworm positive dogs in that state with inaccurate, fake or no certificates of veterinary inspection (health certificates)

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Heartworm Disease

(Click on image for article on Heartworm disease in Washington State) The number of cases of HW disease in Skagit County has increased exponentially!

​Please ask you vet about Heartworm testing!

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Orcas Veterinary Service is an integrative veterinary hospital specializing in both Western and Eastern veterinary medicine. Our top priority is to deliver the best experience to our clients and patients by providing the highest quality of medical care. As an integrative practice, we continually work to expand our knowledge of veterinary techniques in order to maximize the health and well-being of your pet.

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