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
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.