Dog Health & Wellness Dogs

Canine Heartworm Cases in Washington State Almost Tripled Since 2012

Heartworm cases in Washington state.

The variety of canine heartworm instances reported in Washington state final yr was 183% larger than the variety of instances reported in 2012 in response to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC).

Seattle DogSpot obtained the info from CAPC’s Parasite Prevalence Maps.

It lists the variety of instances for numerous parasites Washington counties reported to CAPC for yearly from 2012-2018.

Map of US Heartworm Cases

These maps illustrate how the variety of heartworm instances in Washington elevated from 2001-2016. Picture from American Heartworm Society.

The map exhibits 271 heartworm instances in Washington have been reported to CAPC in 2017 vs. 95 instances in 2012.

Washington’s largest county (King) reported 121 heartworm instances final yr, greater than another county.

That’s a 332% improve since 2012 when King County solely reported 28 heartworm instances.

The variety of heartworm instances in Skagit County’s elevated a whopping 700%, greater than another county.

The county solely reported 1 case in 2012 and eight instances in 2017.

The development in Skagit County seems to proceed in 2018 as 9 instances have been reported by way of the top of July.

A charts displaying the modifications in heartworm instances for all Washington counties from 2012-2017 is on the finish of this submit.

Heartworm Can Be Deadly

Mosquitos transmit the heartworm parasite by biting an contaminated canine and ingesting its bl0od which accommodates microscopic worms referred to as microfilaria.  

As soon as contained in the mosquito, the worms develop into larvae after about 2 weeks. The mosquito transmits the larvae when it bites an uninfected canine and leaves them on its pores and skin.

The larvae enter the canine’s bloodstream by means of the chew and migrate by way of its circulatory system. About 6 months later they mature into grownup worms.

These adults will ultimately find yourself in a the canine’s coronary heart, lungs and related blood vessels the place they will stay 5-7 years.

A canine might not present any indicators of heartworm in the early levels of the illness. Ultimately, it’ll develop a number of of those signs:

Heartworm in Washington

Grownup heartworms after they develop from larvae. Photograph from American Heartworm Society.

  • a light persistent cough
  • reluctance to train
  • fatigue
  • decreased urge for food
  • weight reduction

Left untreated, heartworms can multiply to the purpose the place they trigger irritation in a canine’s arteries and round its lungs. 

The irritation is extra extreme in canine with larger numbers of heartworms.

As heartworm progresses, extra fluid in a canine’s stomach may cause coronary heart failure. It may additionally trigger sudden blockages of blood stream inside the coronary heart resulting in a life-threatening type of cardiovascular collapse referred to as caval syndrome.

Heartworm may be deadly if it isn’t recognized and handled in its early levels.

Why Have Heartworm Cases in Washington State Elevated So Considerably?

Once we acquired our first canine in 2002, our vet informed us we didn’t want to provide him heartworm prevention medicine as a result of so few instances have been ever reported in Washington.

However once I took considered one of our canine in for an annual verify up final month, the vet stated he ought to be examined for heartworm as a result of it has turn into extra prevalent in Washington over the previous few years.

To verify the rise in heartworm instances I contacted Dr. Brian Joseph, the State Veterinarian on the Washington State Division of Agriculture.

Dr. Joseph oversees the Division’s Animal Well being Program. Veterinarians ship him month-to-month reviews relating to what number of instances of heartworm they discover.

He confirmed that heartworm instances have risen in Washington over the previous few years and gave three causes for the rise:

  • local weather change
  • lack of prevention
  • unscrupulous rescue teams that convey heartworm constructive canine in that state with inaccurate, pretend or no certificates of veterinary inspection (well being certificates)

Local weather Change and Lack of Prevention

Mosquitos want a heat local weather to breed. The hotter the climate, the quicker they propagate.

Heartworm Cases in Washington

Scorching climate will increase the speed at which mosquitos reproduce. Temperatures in Washington have been above historic norms since 2012, and 2015 was the most well liked yr on document. Picture from the Nationwide Facilities for Environmental Info.

In an interview with KUOW in 2014, Washington State College entomologist Sharon Collman stated, “In hot weather, it can take a mosquito egg four to five days to mature to adulthood. In cool weather, it takes two to three weeks.”

Charts from the Nationwide Facilities for Environmental Info present that temperatures in virtually all of Washington have been above common or nicely above common for yearly from 2012 – 2017; the typical temperature for 2015 was the warmest on report.

Based mostly on this info, it’s affordable to imagine that above regular common temperature in Washington in the final 5 years created a positive setting for mosquitos to breed extra shortly.

Scorching climate = Extra mosquitos = Larger Potential for Heartworm to Thrive

I feel the reason is simple relating to the shortage of prevention.

For years, Washington veterinarians advised their shoppers they didn’t want to make use of a preventative as a result of heartworm was so uncommon right here.

Veterinarians embedded this mantra into the minds of Washington canine house owners for years; in consequence, we checked heartworm off our listing of potential threats to our canine’ well being and didn’t fear about taking steps to stop it.

Shady Canine Rescues Convey Heartworm Constructive Canine to Washington

Within the final 10-15 years, canine rescues, municipal shelters, and animal transporters created an enormous community to maneuver canine from states with overcrowded, excessive kill shelters to areas just like the Pacific Northwest  “where euthanasia rates are lower and pets are in greater demand.”

Rescuers constructed this infrastructure in 2005 “when Hurricane Katrina left more than 250,000 pets stranded.”

Incidence of Heartworm in Mexico

Though Mexico is a hotbed for heartworms, some rescues deliver canine from there to Washington with out heartworm testing.

Their effort confirmed canine rescues “a new way to find placements for unwanted dogs.” 

Western Washington is a well-liked vacation spot for these canine.

Our shelters typically have area for them resulting from our excessive spay/neuter charges and a higher demand for adopting shelter canine. 

This transportation community saved the lives of tens of hundreds of canine. It additionally created the chance for individuals to start out pretend rescues that deliver canine to Washington from different areas and promote them for a whole lot of dollars.

Many of those canine come from states with excessive charges of heartworm infections like Texas. And overcrowded shelters there eagerly give canine to rescues that may take them.

Others come from Mexico the place these pretend rescues have individuals who snatch stray canine off the streets ship them to Washington.

In line with this 2016 research on the Nationwide Middle for Biotechnology Info web site, Mexican heartworm price was 5.three%.

Nevertheless, the heartworm fee was a lot larger in areas that border the USA. The Northeastern area, which borders Texas, had a fee of eight.9%, the very best in the nation.

The Northwestern area had a price of 6.1%, the third highest in the nation. It borders Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

Unscrupulous Rescues Skirt Well being Testing GuidelinesFurever Homes Rescue

Washington requires that each one canine have to be “tested negative for heartworm or are currently on a heartworm preventative” earlier than they will come into the state (they need to even have a present rabies vaccination).

Furever Homes Rescue

The Washington Division of Agriculture cited Furever Houses Rescue earlier this yr for bringing canine in Washington with out well being certificates. The rescue additionally had a violation in 2015.

Since the first goal of faux rescues is to make as a lot cash as attainable, they typically import the canine right here with out paying for heartworm testing.

Inevitably, a few of these canine have heartworm, and each one of many rising variety of mosquitos in Washington that bites certainly one of them can probably infect different canine right here.

Furever Houses Rescue in Tumwater is likely one of the rescues that convey canine from Mexico to Washington with out the required well being certificates.

The Washington Division of Agriculture citied them in January for bringing canine into Washington with out well being certificates. One other had a well being certificates with out the heartworm testing requirement.

If you undertake a canine delivered to Washington from one other state or county, ask the rescue to see its well being certificates. If it doesn’t have one, then the canine you need to undertake might probably have extremely contagious illnesses.

Methods to Shield Your Canine from Heartworm

Whereas the variety of heartworm instances in Washington elevated considerably since 2012, the share of heartworm instances vs. the variety of canine examined continues to be a lot decrease than different states.

Final yr, zero.82% of the canine in Washington checked for heartworm examined constructive (266 out of 32,549).  

Examine that to the odds of constructive instances in the 5 states with the very best incidences of heartworm based on the American Heartworm Society:

Mississippi   7.63%
Louisiana     6.92%
Arkansas      four.24%
Texas            three.45%
Tennessee   2.78%

Nevertheless, simply because Washington’s heartworm fee is far decrease than these states doesn’t imply you shouldn’t have your canine examined for heartworm or put it on a preventative.

The upward development in Washington proven on the Parasite Prevalence Maps signifies our heartworm charges will proceed to extend.

Moreover, CPAC predicts that heartworm instances have elevated 20% nationwide since 2013 and shall be “above normal across virtually the entire United States in 2018.”

That’s why Washington canine house owners ought to do the next to guard their canine from heartworm:

  1. Ask your vet to check your canine for heartworm yearly.
  2. Ask your vet in case your canine ought to be on a heartworm preventative.
  3. Ask the shelter/rescue if the canine you need to undertake got here from one other state. If it did, ask to see the its well being certificates. If they will’t present it, don’t undertake from that group. 

For extra info on heartworm, please go to the Companion Animal Parasite Council web site  or the American Heartworm Society’s web site.

Concerning the Numbers

CAPC notes that the info in the map “is statistically significant and it serves as a strong representation of the parasite activity for each area. However, it does not represent the total number of positive tests. Instead, we estimate it represents less than 30% of the activity in the geographic regions.”

The numbers are underreported as a result of not all veterinarians ship the outcomes of their heartworm testing to CAPC. The clean areas in the chart means CAPC had no info from that county.

These counties didn’t ship any check outcomes to CAPC from 2012-2017 : Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Okanogan, Skamania, and Wahkiakum.

Some counties like Whitman didn’t ship check info for a number of years, however did ship it for different years. A zero means a county did heartworm testing however had no constructive outcomes.

These numbers don’t embrace each heartworm check for each canine in each county. However they affirm the that the variety of heartworm instances reported in Washington has trended upward since 2012.

* = There isn’t a formulation for calculating the % change if the worth for 2012 is zero.

Heartworm instances in Washington state counties ranked by complete variety of reviews from 2012-2017

COUNTY

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

TOTAL

% CHANGE 2012-2017

King

28

30

36

61

71

121

347

332%

Pierce

16

eight

11

14

13

26

88

63%

Clark

12

11

19

17

eight

14

81

17%

Snohomish

6

zero

5

13

eight

32

64

433%

Kitsap

four

13

four

7

17

13

58

225%

Thurston

6

6

7

12

11

10

52

67%

Spokane

2

6

three

four

four

11

30

450%

Skagit

1

three

6

2

6

eight

26

700%

Whatcom

three

5

1

7

5

four

25

33%

Benton

1

zero

three

1

three

6

14

500%

Chelan

zero

zero

2

zero

2

6

10

*

Cowlitz

2

zero

three

zero

1

three

9

50%

Island

zero

zero

2

1

zero

three

6

300%

Stevens

three

zero

zero

zero

1

2

6

(33%)

Lewis

three

2

zero

zero

zero

1

6

(67%)

Adams

zero

2

1

1

1

zero

5

zero%

Mason

2

zero

1

zero

1

zero

four

(100%)

Clallum

1

1

zero

1

three

*

Klickitat

zero

zero

zero

1

zero

2

three

*

Grant

1

1

zero

zero

zero

1

three

*

Grey’s Harbor

1

2

zero

zero

zero

three

zero%

Yakima

zero

zero

1

zero

2

zero

three

zero%

Walla Walla

three

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

three

(100%)

Kittitas

zero

zero

zero

1

zero

1

2

*

Asotin

zero

zero

zero

zero

1

1

*

Jefferson

zero

zero

zero

1

zero

1

zero%

San Juan

1

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

1

(100%)

Pacific

zero

zero

zero%

Wahkiakum

zero

zero%

Skamania

zero

zero%

Douglas

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero%

Okanogan

zero

zero%

Ferry

zero

zero%

Pend Oreille

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero%

Lincoln

zero

zero%

Whitman

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero%

Franklin

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero%

Columbia

zero

zero%

Garfield

zero

zero%

TOTAL

94

88

108

143

155

266

854

183%

Heartworm instances in Washington state counties ranked by proportion improve from 2012-2017

COUNTY

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

TOTAL

% CHANGE 2012-2017

Skagit

1

three

6

2

6

eight

26

700%

Benton

1

zero

three

1

three

6

14

500%

Spokane

2

6

three

four

four

11

30

450%

Snohomish

6

zero

5

13

eight

32

64

433%

King

28

30

36

61

71

121

347

332%

Island

zero

zero

2

1

zero

three

6

300%

Kitsap

four

13

four

7

17

13

58

225%

Thurston

6

6

7

12

11

10

52

67%

Pierce

16

eight

11

14

13

26

88

63%

Cowlitz

2

zero

three

zero

1

three

9

50%

Whatcom

three

5

1

7

5

four

25

33%

Clark

12

11

19

17

eight

14

81

17%

Adams

zero

2

1

1

1

zero

5

zero%

Grey’s Harbor

1

2

zero

zero

zero

three

zero%

Yakima

zero

zero

1

zero

2

zero

three

zero%

Jefferson

zero

zero

zero

1

zero

1

zero%

Pacific

zero

zero

zero%

Wahkiakum

zero

zero%

Skamania

zero

zero%

Douglas

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero%

Okanogan

zero

zero%

Ferry

zero

zero%

Pend Oreille

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero%

Lincoln

zero

zero%

Whitman

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero%

Franklin

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero%

Columbia

zero

zero%

Garfield

zero

zero%

Stevens

three

zero

zero

zero

1

2

6

(33%)

Lewis

three

2

zero

zero

zero

1

6

(67%)

Mason

2

zero

1

zero

1

zero

four

(100%)

Walla Walla

three

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

three

(100%)

San Juan

1

zero

zero

zero

zero

zero

1

(100%)

Chelan

zero

zero

2

zero

2

6

10

*

Clallum

1

1

zero

1

three

*

Klickitat

zero

zero

zero

1

zero

2

three

*

Grant

1

1

zero

zero

zero

1

three

*

Kittitas

zero

zero

zero

1

zero

1

2

*

Asotin

zero

zero

zero

zero

1

1

*

TOTAL

94

88

108

143

155

266

854

183%

 

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