Emerging Genius: Jessica Shannon
Posted on Apr 24, 2018
Name: Jessica Shannon
Mentors: Dr. Diane Byrd and Dr. Melinda Davis
Title: Microfilaria in Dogs
Abstract: We can all agree that heartworms being present in our own dogs is frightening. This may especially be true of heartworm medication. The purpose of this research is to explore how much dog owners know about heartworms, including where do heartworms come from, and how do heartworms get inside the animal. Most of the populations of dog owners do not know the answers to these questions (American Heartworm Society; Scott, 2017). In many cases, pet owners depend on a veterinarian for guidance and instructions for maintaining good health in pets. This study used a mixed design methodology with both qualitative (open-ended short answer survey) and quantitative (self-report survey) questions to assess dog owners knowledge of heartworms in dogs. Based on previous research (e.g., American Heartworm Society; Scott, 2017), it was hypothesized that dog owners would have little knowledge about heartworms. Results showed the top 3 reasons for giving heartworm medicine once a month was a) dependent on advice from veterinarian b) consequences of what would happen if the medication was not given and c) concern for the health of the dog. Fifty-eight percent of the sample felt somewhat educated on heartworms. The participants who chose not to give heartworm medication self-reported their decision was based on the age of the dog, lack of knowledge on heartworms or simply, if their dogs never had heartworms in the past.