The council recommends all pets be tested annually and protected year-round

Heartworm occurrence is expected to be higher than average this year, the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) reports.

The group has released its 2021 Parasite Forecast and corresponding 30-day Pet Parasite Forecast maps, alerting veterinarians and pet owners of impending outbreaks across the U.S.

CAPC predicts instances of heartworm, transmitted by mosquitoes, will be higher than average throughout 2021, especially along the Atlantic coast and Mississippi River, with increased risk in parts of California, Idaho, and Montana.

Additionally, the risk for Lyme disease, transmitted by ticks, continues to expand southward and westward with “hot spots” expected in portions of Michigan and Ohio, heightened risk persisting in the Northeast, and movement in to the southern states, including the Carolinas and Tennessee, CAPC reports.

“Because of the dynamic and ever-changing nature of parasites, we started providing our annual forecasts more than nine years ago,” says the group’s CEO, Christopher Carpenter, DVM. “Over the years, we’ve seen the risk for parasitic diseases continue to increase and expand into areas that have had historically lower prevalence. CAPC’s 2021 Parasite Forecast is critical to alerting pet owners to the risks this year and reinforcing CAPC’s recommendation that all pets need to be annually tested and protected year-round.”

To monitor the activity in your county throughout the year, click here.