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Feline Parasites in Australia

Palmer CS, Robertson ID, Traub RJ et al.: Intestinal parasites of dogs and cats in Australia: The veterinarian’s perspective and pet owner awareness, Vet J 183:358, 2009.

This study used survey questionnaires to evaluate the use of routine deworming for companion animals in Australia, and the degree of client education provided by the veterinarian for the client, particularly with regard to potential parasite risks to people from their pets. The investigators summarize their findings: “Very few veterinarians routinely discussed the zoonotic potential of pet parasites with clients but most recommended regular prophylactic administration of anthelmintics throughout a pet’s life. Some pet owners were unaware of the existence of zoonoses. It is possible that an overreliance on anthelmintics may have led to a certain complacency about the need to educate pet owners about the risks of zoonoses.” They concluded that routine testing to avoid overuse of broad-spectrum antiparasitic drugs is ideal, and client education about potential risks to them and their families and precautions necessary to avoid parasitism and disease is vital. [MK]

Related articles:
Palmer CS, Traub RJ, Robertson ID et al.: Determining the zoonotic significance of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in Australian dogs and cats, Vet Parasitol 154:142, 2008.