Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: Parasites

Lungworms in Ontario dog

Posted in Dogs
Another emerging infectious disease issue for the Ontario dog population appears to be lungworms. As you’d probably guess, lungworms are parasites that live in (or near) the lungs. A variety of different types of lungworms exist, but most concerns around here relate to two. In Canada, both the fox lungworm (Crenosoma vulpis) and the French… Continue Reading

Echinococcus multilocularis…small tapeworm, big problem

Posted in Dogs
Echinococcus multilocularis is causing increasing concern in Ontario lately (amongst the few people who are aware of it, at least) as there’s evidence that it may have become established in the province. This parasite is a tapeworm harboured by canids (including both domestic dogs and wild ones like coyotes and foxes), and can cause serious… Continue Reading

Deworming wild and feral animals

Posted in Parasites
I had a question the other day about roundworms in feral cats. Specifically, how do you deworm a group of cats that you don’t handle and may not be able to catch? There are a few possible approaches, from trapping and treating (oral or topical) to trying to get a dewormer into them via food.… Continue Reading

Lyme disease & ticks: New infosheet

Posted in Other diseases
The latest Worms & Germs infosheet, all about Lyme disease and ticks, is now available on the Resources – Pets page.  Although it’s getting colder and occasionally snowy up in Ontario, there are lots of parts of North America where ticks are active all year round.  It’s particularly important for any "snowbirds" who may travel… Continue Reading

Raccoon roundworm reminder

Posted in Parasites
An article by Dr. Ann Britton of British Columbia’s Animal Health Centre (AHC) on the blog site healthywildlife.ca  is another reminder of the perils of raccoon poop. Over a 2 year period, 17 raccoons were submitted to the AHC for necropsy, and 12 (71%) of them were infected with Baylisascaris procyonis, the raccoon roundworm. The… Continue Reading

All about tapeworms and Echinococcus

Posted in Parasites
The latest Worms & Germs infosheets are all about some common and not-so-common members of a particular group of parasites: tapeworms. There are a number of different groups and species of tapeworms that can infect pets, people, and other domestic animals, and sorting through which is which can be tricky, so we created a Tapeworms… Continue Reading

Why Finnegan’s an indoor cat

Posted in Cats
I grew up with cats, and they were all indoor/outdoor. I never really thought about it since that was just the way things were done. Yet, as much as he’d like to convince us otherwise, our current cat Finnegan is an indoor cat. There are a lot of reasons for this. One reason for keeping… Continue Reading

Hookworm info sheet

Posted in Dogs
While this morning’s -7C temperature and snow don’t exactly make me think about sandboxes or wandering around barefoot, warmer weather will presumably occur someday and the risk of outdoor exposure to parasites will start up again. Since nothing says summer like hookworms, here’s a new info sheet all about hookworms, including information on cutaneous larva… Continue Reading

What does a puppy have to do with herd health?

Posted in Dogs
The new puppy, now named Merlin, is keeping things busy around here. (Note to self: avoid getting a new puppy during miserable weather.  Standing in pouring, driving rain at 4 AM is not fun. Okay, enough whining.) Yesterday, I wrote about the new puppy’s deworming plan. One thing I forgot to mention was the rest of… Continue Reading

New arrival…

Posted in Dogs
Hide the kids’ toys, tune up the carpet cleaner, get ready for some sleep deprivation… there’s a new dog in the house. Last night, the yet-to-be-named ("he who shall not be named" having been rejected by Heather) little yellow critter arrived. Meg (the existing dog) seems relatively content, or at least resigned. The cat… not… Continue Reading

Identifying the “right” parasite control program

Posted in Parasites
Here is another guest blog, this time from the "worm-guy" Dr. Martin Nielsen of the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky. At the recent 9th International Conference on Equine Infectious Diseases (EIDC) in Lexington, Kentucky several sessions were focused on parasite control of horses. Drug resistant parasites are a world-wide problem in… Continue Reading

Echinococcus in Canada

Posted in Dogs
If you ask people about tapeworms, they typically think about the "ick" factor of having a  large worm in their gut, but they probably don’t get too concerned. However, some types of tapeworm infection can be serious health problems in humans and animals. One of the worst is infection by the tapeworm species Echinococcus multilocularis.… Continue Reading

Flea collar withdrawal in France

Posted in Dogs
A group of flea (or flea and tick) collars have been removed from the market in France following a risk assessment. The review looked at these widely available, over-the-counter products that contain a variety of different chemicals. The determination was that the risks posed by contact with the collars (particularly to children) were unacceptable compared… Continue Reading

Toxoplasma risk factors for cats

Posted in Cats
There’s been a lot of publicity (aka hype bordering on paranoia, including a recent article in the Toronto Star) about the cat-associated parasite Toxoplasma gondii lately. Cats are the definitive host of this parasite and it can cause serious disease in certain people: in pregnant women who have not been previously exposed to the parasite… Continue Reading

Shelter Giardia outbreak from birds?

Posted in Dogs
The Redlands Animal Shelter in California is looking into bird control measures after blaming Giardia infections in dogs on exposure to wild bird poop. On Facebook, Redlands Friends of Shelter Animals have declared "We have a serious problem with birds at the shelter. They land on the kennels and poop goes into the water bowls… Continue Reading

Raccoon invaders and roundworms

Posted in Other animals
Here’s a recent question I received:  "My problem is that the raccoon broke a window, came into my house, ate the cat food and then defecated on the kitchen floor. Since they went a day without food, the cats may have eaten the few bits of food that were left behind. How can I tell… Continue Reading

Infection from raccoon to parrot

Posted in Other animals
An article in the May/June edition of Canadian Vet Newsmagazine (a magazine, not to be confused with Canadian Veterinary Journal, a scientific journal), described an interesting case of an indoor pet bird acquiring an infection from a wild raccoon, despite no direct contact. The bird was an African Grey Parrot that was admitted to the… Continue Reading

Giardia in dogs and cats in Ontario

Posted in Dogs
Dr. Andrew Peregrine, a veterinary parasitologist at the Ontario Veterinary College, presented some data about the types of Giardia found in dogs and cats in Ontario at this week’s University of Guelph Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses annual meeting. A lot of attention has been paid to Giardia types in recent years. That’s because,… Continue Reading

Travel, pets and infectious disease risks

Posted in Dogs
An important concept when dealing with infectious diseases is consideration of the risk that an animal has been, or will be, exposed to a particular microorganism. Some diseases vary greatly geographically, and something that’s very important in one region may be rare or non-existent in another. Good veterinarians are aware of disease trends in their… Continue Reading

Plague in New Mexico cat and dog

Posted in Cats
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The dog in your bed probably won’t kill you

Posted in Cats
A month or two ago, there was a lot of press about the risks of pets sleeping in beds. It was in response to an article in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that didn’t put forth any new information, but summarized a few diseases that could potentially be transmitted by pets. Unfortunately, the relative risk… Continue Reading

Resistant heartworm, cause for concern?

Posted in Dogs
Heartworm is a parasitic infection (primarily of dogs) caused by Dirofilaria immitis, which is spread by mosquitoes.  In areas where the parasite is present, the standard recommendation is for preventive treatment of dogs during the mosquito season, and annual testing to make sure they don’t have the disease. Numerous types of heartworm medication are available,… Continue Reading

Kinkajou owners beware

Posted in Other animals
Kinkajous are strange little mammals from the Procyonidae family – the same family to which raccoons belong. Kinkajous are native to Central and South America and are occasionally kept as pets, but they don’t make great pets because they are strictly nocturnal, can be cranky when woken during the day, and can sometimes be aggressive.… Continue Reading

Plague in Oregon

Posted in Dogs
The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports has a short report about two plague cases in the US. Plague, while often thought of as a historical disease (the Black Death), is alive and well in wild rodents in some areas of the world, including parts of North America, and human cases continue to occur. Here… Continue Reading