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Bayer commends AHS and CAPC for updated heartworm guidelines

Important guideline revisions made by both parasite-focused organizations address heartworm prevention, treatment and diagnosis; and include information about FDA approval of the first-ever treatment for circulating microfilaria

SHAWNEE, Kan., Jan. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Veterinarians wanting to keep their heartworm protocols up to date should check out the latest information from the American Heartworm Society (AHS) and the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), say representatives from the Bayer HealthCare LLC Animal Health division. New information on heartworm prevention, diagnosis and treatment recently prompted changes to the guidelines veterinarians rely on when establishing their heartworm protocols. Both AHS and CAPC have announced updates to their heartworm guidelines, citing—among other factors—new information about the documented presence of resistant sub-populations of heartworms.

"At Bayer, we commend these two organizations for their decision to revise their recommendations," said Cristiano von Simson, DVM, MBA, director of Veterinary Technical Services at Bayer HealthCare LLC Animal Health division, North America. The AHS guidelines reinforce the importance of year-round administration of heartworm preventives, support the administration of doxycycline and macrocyclic lactones prior to adulticide therapy and recommend both antigen and microfilaria testing. In addition, the AHS guidelines also referenced the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of Bayer's Advantage Multi® for Dogs (imidacloprid + moxidectin) as the first and only product labeled for circulating microfilaria treatment in heartworm positive dogs in the United States.

"Bayer is passionate about caring for animals and develops products and services that support veterinarians' ability to keep our pets healthy," said von Simson. "These updated guidelines, and the FDA's recognition of the importance of treating microfilaria, will strengthen veterinarians' capability to reduce the incidence and severity of heartworm disease in dogs."

According to the American Heartworm Society, there are conservatively 1 million cases of heartworm disease diagnosed in dogs every year.1 Heartworm disease most commonly results in abnormal functioning of the lungs, heart, liver and kidneys.2

New information on resistance, Wolbachia and diagnostic testing drive AHS updates
"AHS continually seeks the latest information when it comes to understanding and preventing heartworm disease," says Stephen Jones, DVM, President of the American Heartworm Society, noting that the latest update reflects information and research presented during the 2013 Triennial Heartworm Symposium. "Like the practitioners we serve, we need to be prepared to adjust our recommendations as new information becomes available. This past year was significant in terms of identifying new information about diagnosis, prevention and treatment of heartworm disease."

The American Heartworm Society's mission is to lead the veterinary profession, as well as further scientific progress in the study of heartworm disease, inform its members of new developments and help promote effective procedures for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heartworm disease. The AHS' complete canine heartworm guidelines may be found at http://www.heartwormsociety.org/veterinary-resources/canine-guidelines.html.

The updated AHS feline guidelines can be found at: http://www.heartwormsociety.org/veterinary-resources/feline-guidelines.html.

Companion Animal Parasite Council revises heartworm guidelines for canines
Last month the Companion Animal Parasite Council published their latest revisions to the heartworm prevention and treatment guidelines which continue to advocate for year-round heartworm prevention for dogs and cats. This recommendation is based on parasite behaviors and human behaviors related to heartworm prevention. Like many other diseases, heartworm is much easier and less expensive to prevent than to treat. Consequently, pet owners should be educated about prevention and strongly encouraged to improve compliance by keeping up with year-round prevention.

"Given the very effective preventives available, dogs and cats shouldn't develop heartworm disease," says Susan E. Little, DVM, Ph.D., Professor of Parasitology at Oklahoma State University and President-elect of CAPC. "Nonetheless, a large number of pets continue to become infected each year due, in part, to the varying activity times and behaviors of the mosquitoes that transmit heartworm, making it impossible to target transmission seasons or locations precisely. Year-round prevention is of utmost importance."

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) aims to foster animal and human health, while preserving the human-animal bond, through recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of parasitic infections. CAPC's complete canine heartworm guidelines may be found here: http://www.capcvet.org/capc-recommendations/canine-heartworm/.

About Advantage Multi® for Dogs
For more information on Advantage Multi® for Dogs, visit http://www.bayerdvm.com/show.aspx/productdetail/advantage-multi-for-dogs
Product Label

CAUTION: Federal (U.S.A.) law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. WARNING: DO NOT ADMINISTER THIS PRODUCT ORALLY. For the first 30 minutes after application ensure that dogs cannot lick the product from application sites on themselves or other treated animals. Children should not come in contact with the application sites for two (2) hours after application. (See Contraindications, Warnings, Human Warnings, and Adverse Reactions, for more information.) CONTRAINDICATIONS: Do not use this product on cats.

About Bayer HealthCare
The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 18.6 billion (2012), is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover, develop, manufacture and market products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 54,900 employees (Dec. 31, 2012) and is represented in more than 100 countries. More information at www.healthcare.bayer.com.

Contact:

Staci Gouveia, Tel. 913.268.2577
Email: [email protected]

Lauren Dorsch, Tel. 913.268.2747
Email: [email protected]

Find more information about Bayer HealthCare Animal Health at
www.animalhealth.bayerhealthcare.com
Follow us on Twitter: @Bayer4animalsUS
Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/healthcare.bayer  

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

1Weyenberg, K. (2009). Team Up Against Heartworm. The Team, pg. 10-12.
2American Heartworm Society, Pet Owner Glossary, http://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources/glossary.html. Accessed October 6, 2013.

SOURCE Bayer HealthCare Animal Health

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