Honors College Senior Thesis Presentations

Title

Barriers to Client Compliance and Understanding of Heartworm Prevention in the Canine Patient

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Pre-veterinary Medicine

Minor

Spanish

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Laura Ken Hoffman, DVM; Warren Edminster, PhD

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Dirofilaria immitis is a common and largely preventable mosquito-borne parasite that causes dirofilariasis, or heartworm disease, in a number of animal species. For the purposes of this study, I will be focusing on the canine patient due to the prevalence of disease and availability of prevention in this species. The treatment for this parasite is costly and carries significant risk, if the patient is even a candidate for treatment. The necessity of heartworm prevention is undisputed and well-known among veterinary professionals, yet there are still many dogs not protected from this fatal parasite. Heartworm prevention traditionally requires a once-a-month administration of medication; therefore, its efficacy relies on owner compliance. I will seek to identify the pet owner’s awareness of heartworm disease as well as their level of understanding of the dangers and risk factors. Additionally, I will ascertain what importance, if any, pet owners place on giving monthly preventative. I will seek to answer these questions using a survey targeted at pet owners whose dogs have seen the veterinarian in the past year. The goal of this research is to establish the barriers to pets receiving monthly heartworm prevention so that veterinary professionals can be made aware and work to address them in order to reduce the number of dogs infected.

Location

Waterfield Gallery

Start Date

November 2021

End Date

November 2021

Fall Scholars Week 2021 Event

Honors Senior Presentations

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Nov 17th, 2:30 PM Nov 17th, 3:30 PM

Barriers to Client Compliance and Understanding of Heartworm Prevention in the Canine Patient

Waterfield Gallery

Dirofilaria immitis is a common and largely preventable mosquito-borne parasite that causes dirofilariasis, or heartworm disease, in a number of animal species. For the purposes of this study, I will be focusing on the canine patient due to the prevalence of disease and availability of prevention in this species. The treatment for this parasite is costly and carries significant risk, if the patient is even a candidate for treatment. The necessity of heartworm prevention is undisputed and well-known among veterinary professionals, yet there are still many dogs not protected from this fatal parasite. Heartworm prevention traditionally requires a once-a-month administration of medication; therefore, its efficacy relies on owner compliance. I will seek to identify the pet owner’s awareness of heartworm disease as well as their level of understanding of the dangers and risk factors. Additionally, I will ascertain what importance, if any, pet owners place on giving monthly preventative. I will seek to answer these questions using a survey targeted at pet owners whose dogs have seen the veterinarian in the past year. The goal of this research is to establish the barriers to pets receiving monthly heartworm prevention so that veterinary professionals can be made aware and work to address them in order to reduce the number of dogs infected.