Hitch Hikers & Uninvited Guests: What You Need to Know About Pet Parasites

Moving into spring with warmer temperatures we begin to think about your pet’s increased parasite risks. This is often an invisible problem where infection isn’t detectable to the naked eye, low infection levels cause subclinical disease and environmental contamination is invisible.

In general terms we talk about internal (worms) and external (fleas, ticks, lice) parasites. Management of these not only protect your pets, but your family and community from the spread of disease including Lyme disease and Ecchinococcus.

Emerging concerns:

    1. Ticks that carry Lyme disease are present in the province roughly east of Highway 2. Both you and your pets can be negatively impacted by ticks. Follow the links below for details on our government’s monitoring program or contact the clinic to send us your ticks.Alberta info: https://www.alberta.ca/lyme-disease-tick-surveillance.aspx
      North America info: https://capcvet.org/
    2. Echinococcus, an internal tapeworm, spreads through infected coyote and fox feces and is responsible for significant disease in humans and dogs.  Calgary is a hot spot in the province.For more info: https://www.albertaanimalhealthsource.ca/content/tapeworms-echinococcus-multilocularis

Canmore Perspective:

Our alpine climate helps as curb parasite levels relative to warm and humid environments.  On the down side, we have higher mobility in our residents and visitors compared to normal communities and we also share our environment with local wildlife.

What are the risk factors?

Make sure your pet and family are protected from parasites. Reach out to your veterinarian for your pet’s parasite management program.