Hookworms become a growing problem for Sioux Falls pets

Staff at Bright Eyes and Bushy Tails in Iowa City perform laser therapy on a dog on Thursday,...
Staff at Bright Eyes and Bushy Tails in Iowa City perform laser therapy on a dog on Thursday, August 20, 2020. (Aaron Scheinblum/KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 9:30 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -

Experts have found a 47% increase in positive Hookworm tests for dogs and cats across the Sioux Falls area, ranking the city second in the country for such tests.

The results were reported by the Companion Animal Parasite Council, a non-profit organization that tracks and raises awareness around growing parasite problems across the country. The CAPC takes data collected by local veterinaries and pet clinics, comparing that data to cities around America and use the information to find what causes the growth. CAPC uses all that information to inform pet owners in the area about the growing problem, and how to prevent things like a rise in Hookworms, from getting worse.

Several factors can cause a spike in Hookworm numbers, and more positive tests can be the result of simple things, like a rise in pet adoptions, which leads to more testing. Dog parks also contribute to the spread of the parasite, spreading from pet to pet, when someone uses the toy of a dog with Hookworms or an owner does not pick up after their pup. For cats, the worm is picked up from animals the cat may kill, from a bird or mouse to a cockroach Hookworms can be detected through a variety of symptoms, including blood in the stool of your pet.

The prevention method is simple: Make sure to test dogs and cats twice a year at a local veterinary hospital or clinic. There, you can also pick up some year-round prevention medicine, to keep the furry friend in the house free of parasites. Pick up after your dog, especially after the dog park, and wash your hands after playing with other pets. People can pick up Hookworms from their pets, so keeping the pet healthy keeps the whole family healthy, and fortunately, it is a straightforward problem to treat, with a few simple measures.

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