Heartworm Prevention

5th Annual Gulf-Atlantic Veterinary Conference

Double Defense Heartworm Workshop

Friday, December 1
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Addison Ballroom East

Veterinarian Technician Staff Workshop
Sponsored By: 

Veterinarians, Technicians, and Staff
No additional charge
*Conference registration required

Part 1: Preventing Mosquito-borne Diseases: A Multi-Modal Approach I - Wirtz
Part 2: Preventing Mosquito-borne Diseases: A Multi-Modal Approach II – Wirtz

Mosquitoes and the disease organisms they transmit continue to take a devastating toll on humans and animals world-wide. The most effective approach to limiting the morbidity and mortality of mosquito-borne diseases has been a multi-modal approach capitalizing on all the concurrent use of all available tools, to include focal mosquito control, drugs and vaccines, when available. The recent success of such an approach for reducing the impact of malaria will be discussed. A brief summary of the emergence of Zika in the Americans and arbo-virus control efforts will also be presented.

Part 3: Canine Heartworm Disease: How You Should Respond to New Information and New Strategies – Blagburn
Several problems have emerged recently in dealing with canine heartworm infection. Issues include diagnostic tests and test performance, antigen blocking and heat treatment of serum or plasma, limited but demonstrable resistance to heartworm preventives, and identification and implementation of effective treatment protocols. In this presentation I will discuss these issues and provide updates on what we now know. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in preventing mosquito feeding as an adjunct to heartworm prevention. This strategy will also be reviewed and discussed in the context of the above issues and successful heartworm prevention.

Part 4: Lead the Way and Save More Lives: Using Innovation and Big Data to Protect Your Patients and Your Practice – Prior
This presentation will bring the newest studies about heartworm preventive strategies to the attention of the practitioner audience, teach the practitioner audience how to read and interpret CAPC prevalence data to inform their medical recommendations and invigorate their staff and client educational efforts, and bring all of these concepts, scientific and practice-centric, to bear on the parasiticide decision-making process within the clinic or hospital.

Bob Wirtz

Entomology Branch Chief, retired
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Bob Wirtz received his PhD (1976) in Entomology from Kansas State University. He then began his military career at the Letterman Army Institute of Research, Presidio of San Francisco, CA (1976-81) where he assisted in the development and testing of insect repellents. He was assigned to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), Washington, DC in 1982 where he served as the assistant Entomology Branch Chief and co-investigator for projects focusing on vector control and malaria vaccine development. While at the WRAIR he transitioned to a Department of Defense civilian position and to the US Army Reserves. He retired from the reserves as a Colonel in 2008. In 1997 he accepted the position of Chief, Entomology Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. He directed activities to reduce the threat of arthropod-borne diseases to humans, with a focus on malaria, lymphatic filariasis and Chagas disease. He coordinated technical assistance and oversight for vector control in 19 African, four Asian and seven Latin American countries in support of the President’s Malaria Initiative and Amazon Malaria Initiative programs. Over 100 million people have been protected under those programs. He also coordinated public health entomology among the CDC, US Agency for International Development, Departments of Defense and Agriculture, the Carter Center, the WHO and other organizations. He served as an adjunct professor at five universities, on numerous national and international committees and professional societies, and as an instructor in over 25 countries. He is an author/co-author on over 280 publications, including nine book chapters. He retired from the CDC in 2015, but returned to serve as the Zika Virus Vector Team Lead in the CDC Emergency Operations Center for June and July of 2016. He continues to work on selected activities as a CDC Guest Researcher and as a private consultant. He enjoys travel, sailing, cooking and fly-fishing.

ADDRESS: Robert Wirtz, 3201 Amblewood Ct., Atlanta, GA 30345-2172. Cell: 770-934-5771; E-mail: rwirtz@bellsouth.net


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Byron Blagburn

Distinguished University Professor
College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University

Byron L. Blagburn holds the appointment of Distinguished University Professor at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. He received his doctorate in parasitology from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, and is an Honorary Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiology (Parasitology). Dr. Blagburn instructs first, third, and fourth-year students of veterinary medicine, directs graduate student research, serves as director of the clinical parasitology diagnostic laboratory and oversees a research program which focuses on parasite-induced diseases of companion animals. He is Past President of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, the Southern Conference on Animal Parasites, the Southeastern Society of Parasitologists, and the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC). He has served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Parasitology and has served on the editorial boards of Veterinary Parasitology, Veterinary Therapeutics, The International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine, and The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. He currently serves on the editorial board of the the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association. Dr. Blagburn has published over 360 manuscripts in scientific journals and has presented at more than 700 regional, national and international meetings. Dr. Blagburn is a recipient of the American Association of Veterinary Parasitiologist’s Distinguished Veterinary Parasitologist Award, the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence (1987 and 2010), and the Auburn University Student Government Association “Teacher of the Year” Award.


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Craig Prior

Companion Animal Parasite Council

Dr. I. Craig Prior is the previous owner of VCA Murphy Road Animal Hospital, an eight doctor practice in Nashville, TN; and currently a partner in three emergency hospitals in Middle Tennessee. A 33 year veteran, Dr. Prior’s professional interests include all aspects of small animal medicine and surgery, as well the operations and metrics of well managed practices.

Born and raised in Australia, Dr. Prior represented Australia at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville Tennessee before graduating from the University of Queensland in Brisbane with a degree in veterinary medicine in 1984. He moved to the United States in 1985 and joined the staff of Murphy Road Animal Hospital in 1986.

Dr. Prior is the current president of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPCvet.org).

He shares his veterinary and business knowledge as a practice management consultant, and through speaking engagements throughout the country including NAVC & WVC, sitting on advisory boards and guest appearances with various national media outlets.


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Double Defense Heartworm Workshop

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