Don't let your fur baby suffer, please stay up to date on medications and vaccinations.

According to a report from the Companion Animal Parasite Council, the city of Waco has ranked #5 in the United States for highest percentage increase in intestinal parasites.

Each month the CAPC compiles a list of the top 10 cities with an increase in intestinal parasites, in an effort to alert veterinarians and their clients. For the month of July, the following 10 cities reported a high increase in positive hookworm tests.

  1. Augusta-Richmond, GA
  2. Sioux Falls, SD
  3. San Fransico, CA
  4. Dover, DE
  5. Waco, TX
  6. Newport News, VA
  7. Cedar Rapids, IA
  8. Manchester, NH
  9. Patterson, NJ
  10. Fort Collins, CO

So what exactly are hookworms, and how does your pet become infected?

"Hookworms cause bleeding in the intestinal tract and are a serious disease that can cause debilitation or death, especially in younger animals. Hookworms live in contaminated soil and infect dogs and cats through penetration of the skin or ingestion of the larvae or an infected paratenic host" says the CAPC.

Here are a few signs to watch out for:

Dogs

  • dark, tarry diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • amenia
  • weight loss
  • skin lesions

Cats

  • diarrhea
  • respiratory disease
  • pneumonia
  • amenia
  • skin problems

FYI, it is possible for a hookworm infection from a dog to be transferred to a human. Puppies and kittens in their first year should be tested at least 4x, and adults should be tested twice yearly, even if they are on yearly medication.

Stay safe out there, Central Texas!

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