CALGARY, April 10, 2012 /CNW/ - A study conducted by Associate Veterinary Clinics (AVC), in partnership with Antech Laboratories, Novartis Animal Health Canada Inc. and the Calgary Humane Society, revealed the prevalence of intestinal parasites in pets is the same or greater in Calgary than it is in warmer climates. Pet owners need to be aware of the potential risks and what can be done to protect the health of their pets and family members.
Dr. Daniel Joffe, Medical Director at the C.A.R.E. Centre Animal Hospital and lead author of the study, is emphasizing the importance of the new knowledge gained from the study and what it means for detection and prevention of parasites in Alberta.
"Because of Alberta's colder weather, there is a commonly held belief that parasites are not a threat to pets," said Dr. Joffe. "The results of the study dispel this belief and show that pets in Alberta are significant carriers of parasites, some of which can be a risk to humans."
Some parasites found within the canine and feline study groups were zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from pets to humans. One of the most common zoonotic parasites found in this study in both dogs and cats was roundworms. Roundworms can be contracted by anyone, but is more likely to infect young children due to the presence of animal waste in soil at public parks and playgrounds.
Even though the study's results show there is a potential risk to the health of pets and families, Dr. Joffe says pet owners or those thinking about getting a family pet should know the risks are easily managed through proper pet care.
"Our pets are part of our families, so it is important to learn more about how you can protect your family's health," stated Dr. Joffe. "The most important step you can take is talking to your family veterinarian about how to prevent the spread of parasites."
Dr. Joffe recommends taking these easy steps to keep family members healthy:
- Take your pet in for regular check-ups and discuss parasite prevention with your family veterinarian
- Follow your veterinarian's advice about treating parasites in young pets and in detecting and preventing infection throughout your pet's life
- Always clean up after your pet
The study was conducted in Calgary and evaluated both homed and sheltered cats and dogs and was published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal in December 2011. This was the first study of its kind to be conducted in urban Alberta and the largest in Canada. Similar studies to this one have been conducted in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and have displayed similar results to the one conducted in Calgary. To learn more about intestinal parasites and prevention, please visit www.associatevets.com.
About Associate Veterinary Clinics
Associate Veterinary Clinics is a veterinarian led company of over 45 progressive, companion animal healthcare practices in B.C., Alberta and Ontario. All clinics are linked by the common ideals of compassionate, innovative, family bond-centered veterinary medicine, creating a professional network of skills, knowledge and expertise. A dedicated administrative support team takes care of the business aspects of the practice, allowing veterinarians to concentrate on patient care. This unique business model has contributed to Associate Veterinary Clinics' recognition as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies.
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