Veterinary parasites to be concerned about


Specialist says, "take your pick." Yeah, there are that many.

"It's kind of mind-boggling how many are emerging right now," says Fetch dvm360 conference speaker Richard Gerhold, DVM, MS, PhD, when asked what parasites practitioners should be most worried about.

He says that these organisms can be split into multiple categories, perhaps most maddening of which is, "Thought they were eradicated in the U.S.? Nope." That subdivision includes:

• Screwworms. They can cause a zoonotic infection and are re-emerging in the Florida Keys

• Texas cattle fever. It had been eradicated but is stampeding back in the Lone Star State

Parasites, opossums and then some: More from Dr. Gerhold

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Opossums et al. are wild animals, not pets.

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Dr. Gerhold also outlines parasites that have increased due to factors like evolving landscapes, climate change and human travel. These factors are affecting:

• Heartworms

Angiostrongylus vasorum (French heartworm)

Angiostrongylus cantonensis (rat lungworm). That's a zoonotic disease that can infect human brains!

Baylisascaris species

Additionally, multiple tick-borne maladies such as Lyme disease are gaining.

"These things are affecting everything from domestic animals to humans to wildlife-all three combined," he says.

And there's another thing that's really bugging Dr. Gerhold. It has to do with the way parasitology is taught in vet school these days.

Watch this video to find out more.

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