Debuts at Western Veterinary Conference, a new Web site developed to spread awareness about feline heartworm disease, debuts today at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas. The site offers veterinarians and pet owners critical information regarding the serious danger of heartworm disease in cats, which reveals itself as H.A.R.D. (Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease).

The Web site is designed to support the KNOW Heartworms campaign, which is sponsored by the American Heartworm Society (AHS) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), and funded by an educational grant from Pfizer Animal Health.

According to Charles Thomas Nelson, DVM, president of the AHS, both the veterinary community and the cat-owning public have a long way to go in developing awareness about the risks of feline heartworm disease. “As a practicing veterinarian, I understand that pet owners are bombarded with information. What we are striving for with this Web site is to provide a central place for information where cat owners can educate themselves on the disease, and then enter into discussions with their veterinarians to together assess the risks.” features the following resources:

  • Five myths and misunderstandings of feline heartworm disease: Dogs vs. Cats, Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats, It’s a Heart Disease, Adult Heartworms vs. Larvae and Diagnosis
  • Signs of H.A.R.D.: Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease
  • Downloadable campaign materials for use in veterinary clinics
  • Contest entry for best executed animal hospital awareness campaign
  • Link to the AHS’s Feline Guidelines updated for 2007

The Web site also contains press releases, fact sheets and biographies for the spokespersons, Nelson and James R. Richards, DVM, Director of the Feline Health Center at Cornell University and a past president of the AAFP.

Founded during the Heartworm Symposium of 1974, The American Heartworm Society was formed to facilitate and encourage the generation and dissemination of information about heartworm disease and encourages adoption of standardized procedures for its diagnosis, treatment and prevention. The American Heartworm Society stimulates and financially supports research, which furthers knowledge and understanding of the disease. Its headquarters are located in Batavia, Ill. For more information,visit

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) is a professional organization of veterinarians dedicated to feline health care. The association supports professional growth and fellowship by providing outstanding continuing education, and by promoting and sponsoring research and outreach programs intended to improve the health and well-being of cats. Included in its mission is to improve the public stature of cats and to increase the knowledge of veterinarians in the field of feline medicine and surgery. For more information, visit

Pfizer Animal Health, a division of Pfizer Inc, is a world leader in animal health, committed to providing innovative medicines and vaccines for companion animals and livestock. Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines for humans and animals. For additional information on Pfizer, visit


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