Everyday parasites in companion animals

27 September 2013
14 mins read
Volume 4 · Issue 7


Owning pets in the UK and Ireland is very beneficial for some, but does bring risks and responsibilities. Over recent years, parasites endemic to the UK have been overshadowed by exotic parasites. This article turns the reader's attention back to these ‘everyday parasites’, exploring the effects of infestation/infection, lifecycles, identification and control of fleas, ticks, mites, tapeworms and Toxocara spp. The diagnostic and control challenges faced by pet owners and veterinarians are explored from the perspective of the One Health initiative.

As Robertson et al (2000) have reviewed, pets offer a significant range of benefits to mankind. In comparison to non-pet owners, pet owners visit their doctor less often, use smaller number of medications and have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Pets also add to the physical, social and emotional development of children and the happiness of their owners, in particular elderly people. However, pet owning also brings risks such as those associated with pet parasites. These parasitic risks require appropriate management to prevent disease in pets and, since many of these parasites are potential human zoonoses, also humans. Pet parasite control therefore links in to the One Health concept, whereby an interdisciplinary approach is encouraged to improve communication and health care across human health, animal health and environmental health (One Health Initiative, 2013). The One Heath initiative is expected to vastly advance health care.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting The Veterinary Nurse and reading some of our peer-reviewed content for veterinary professionals. To continue reading this article, please register today.