Parasite Prevalence: What's Your Pet's Risk?

We believe that educated pet owners are the best pet owners! To better understand your veterinarian’s parasite prevention recommendations, it's important to know the risks affecting your pet(s).

Veterinary care recommendations can vary greatly from pet to pet, family to family, and location to location. While our doctors’ recommendations are customized to each individual pet and family, certain factors can help us determine a baseline for the preventative tests and treatments we feel best serve our clients and patients. For example, since it doesn't get cold enough here in the Greater New Orleans area to ever completely kill off mosquitoes and fleas, we strongly recommend all pets be on year-round heartworm and flea preventative (whether they go outdoors or not). But there are other parasites that affect ours pets, too, and different pets have different risk factors.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) is a great source of information that both pet owners and veterinarians can use to assess pets’ risk by showing them which parasites are present in their own backyard.

CAPC’s Pets & Parasites website features interactive parasite prevalence maps that provide timely, local infection risk data for intestinal parasites, heartworms and tick-borne diseases by state, county and species. Users can even sign up to receive monthly email updates about new cases.

When viewing the maps, is important to remember that these statistics are based on a sample of the population only. While the data serve as an indicator of the parasite activity for each area, they do not represent the total number of positive tests. Therefore, actual infection rates are estimated to be higher than the reported data.

With the help of this information, along with preventative tests and treatments, such as annual fecal and heartworm screenings, and consistent flea and internal parasite control, we can help keep our patients (and their human families!) healthy.

For more information about protecting your pets from parasites, please contact us


This blog post originally appeared on The Drake Center and has been modified for re-posting.

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