Colorado is home to the bold and adventurous. The kind of people that love being outdoors. And, increasingly, the kind of people who love dogs. Unfortunately, most people don’t seem to love picking up after their dog. How many piles of uncollected dog poop did you see on your last hike?
The most common misconception about picking up your dog’s poop while out on the trails is that people fail to see the difference between their dog’s poop and wild animal poop. Wildlife abounds in Colorado so what difference does a little more poop make? Well, the difference is actually very significant.
Hookworms, Roundworms, and Whipworms, Oh My!
Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms are passed in feces. Routine testing and treatment for canine intestinal parasites in Colorado lags far behind other states. Most dogs infected with these parasites don’t show obvious clinical signs. That means they can unknowingly spread hundreds of parasite eggs on a single hike. Common signs that may occur include intermittent vomiting, diarrhea, failure to gain weight, or a poor hair coat.
The problem compounds rapidly when people don’t pick up after their dogs because intestinal parasite eggs can remain viable and spread infection for months and even years in some areas.
Dogs are not the only species that can become infected. Wild animals and humans can also become ill from dog poop that is left on the trail too. Hookworm infection in people usually just causes an irritating rash but roundworm infestation can cause blindness and liver disease.
The Best Treatment is Year-round Prevention
Fortunately, there is a simple, safe and effective way to prevent your dog from getting parasites while you are out enjoying nature. Monthly administration of a safe parasiticide called Interceptor plus treats every intestinal parasite. It also prevents another dangerous disease: heartworm disease.
Does your dog like to run off the trail? Or perhaps play with other dogs at the park while you practice social distancing? These situations put your dog at risk for external parasites like lice, ticks, and fleas. But, you say, we don’t have fleas in Colorado. Oh yes we do! And did you know that fleas can carry a deadly human disease called the black plague? Studies have shown that our warming climate is allowing these parasites to expand to new areas across the country, including Colorado. Also, consider all those dogs that travel to Colorado with their adventure-seeking owners from other states. The result is a steady increase in external parasites.
Treating these parasites has never been easier or safer. Credelio is an extremely effective oral medication that protects your dog from lice, fleas, and ticks for an entire month. For the most complete protection for your four-legged adventure buddy we recommend administering Interceptor plus and Credelio monthly.
Written by Darin Dell, DVM, DACVD