Hooks and whips and tapeworms, oh my!
So this Sunday I spent a lot of time looking at dog poo. Beth, the other volunteer parasitologist at ARNO had decided that it was past time to run a basic fecal on all of the dogs in the shelter. Usually, we give priority to animals who appear to be suffering from gastrointestinal symptoms, or who are new to us at ARNO. With our limited resources, managing these animals takes up most of our time, so we rarely check for parasites in animals who lack obvious symptoms. The problem with this is that we miss infections which are easily transmitted to other animals and can cause subtle health problems. (Riddle me this, how can a dog tell you it is suffering from hookworm anemia?) So, just to make sure that the dogs were all as healthy as can be, Beth and I checked out about two dozen shelter mutts. It was a good thing we did, since we found a fair number of nasty parasites once we started looking. One dog had whipworm, several had tapeworms, some had hookworms, and a couple had roundworms. One especially unlucky dog named Paris had three different parasitic infections (hookworm, tapeworm and roundworm). Hopefuly, we will be able to complete a survey of all of the dogs in the next few weeks.