Don't let parasites take a bite out of the bond

Don't let parasites take a bite out of the bond

Q: I see parasites' physical effects in veterinary practice, but what kind of impact do parasites have on the human-animal bond?
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May 01, 2012
By dvm360.com staff

The human-animal bond is a powerful relationship, but even it is vulnerable to being nibbled away at by parasites. These days, pets live in intimate association with our families. The relationship between pets and people is emotional, but there's a physical component as well. When pets become parasitized, that bond is jeopardized.

Fleas and ticks aren't only repulsive, but they will bite and feed on people and can cause severe infestations that are costly to resolve.

Internal parasites can also impact the bond. Their physical signs—such as diarrhea and passage of worms—aren't supportive of a close relationship. Making matters worse is the fact that several parasites are zoonotic. Children are particularly susceptible to parasitic disease, but so are those with a compromised immune system. And unfortunately, these are often the very people who share most deeply in the bond.

Ultimately, if clients are to experience the maximum benefits from the human-animal bond, it is imperative that they keep their pets healthy and parasite-free.

Dr. Michael Paul is a veterinary consultant and a founding member and former executive director/CEO of the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

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