CAPC guidelines offer best practices for parasites

Mar 01, 2006

The most common question asked of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) by practicing veterinarians is "Do these guidelines apply to me?" Our answer is always an unequivocal "Yes." The primary guidelines for parasite control are applicable in all geographic regions and in every companion-animal veterinary hospital, regardless of parasite prevalence.


Kevin R. Kazacos, DVM, PhD
The CAPC was formed with the express purpose of changing the way veterinary professionals and pet owners approach parasite management. Our independent council of veterinarians, parasitologists, and public health professionals advocate full adoption of the guidelines for the safety of both pets and people.

Our recent research shows that awareness of the CAPC guidelines is more than 75% among practicing veterinarians. Within that group, more than 90% are satisfied with the protocols outlined in the guidelines; however, adoption and implementation are still trailing those numbers. Of course, it takes time to implement new procedures in a practice, so we are continuing our outreach efforts to educate veterinarians, their staffs, and pet owners.

With greater compliance, companion-animal veterinarians can more effectively diagnose, control, and prevent parasitic diseases, assuring clients of healthier pets and reduced exposure of their families to zoonotic parasites.

To support our educational initiative with pet owners, the CAPC recently launched a consumer Web site, http://www.petsandparasites.org/. The new site offers pet owners general information about the most common internal and external parasites in dogs and cats. The site is organized into "Dog Owner" and "Cat Owner" sections, which provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about pets, parasites, and the parasites' effects on human health.

In addition, an important function of the Web site is to direct pet owners to their veterinarian for appropriate parasite treatment and control.

The CAPC is continuing to develop and update guidelines for individual parasites to supplement the primary guidelines. For more information on the CAPC and its parasite guidelines, please visit us at http://www.capcvet.org/.

Kevin R. Kazacos, DVM, PhD, is president of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC). He is a professor of veterinary parasitology and the director of the clinical parasitology laboratory at Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine.