Cats are host to a variety of internal and external parasites. Despite the documented prevalence and zoonotic importance of these parasites, many pet owners and some veterinarians aren't convinced that comprehensive feline parasite control strategies are needed. This viewpoint may stem from the previous lack of safe, effective, and convenient broad-spectrum parasiticides and the difficulties in acquiring adequate fecal samples. Fortunately, newer broad-spectrum agents (Table 1), particularly those with label claims against heartworms and fleas, allow veterinarians to eliminate a higher percentage of feline parasites. Let's review some of the key feline parasites and discuss new strategies for controlling them.
The media buzz may have quieted considerably, but West Nile virus continues to cause illness and death nationwide and is here to stay. Within six years of the initial detection of this exotic mosquito-borne virus in New York, it has spread to all continental states, through Canada and Mexico, and into Central America.
Several vector-borne diseases in dogs and cats appear to be emerging in the United States, including babesiosis, cytauxzoonosis, bartonellosis, leishmaniasis, hepatozoonosis, and feline ehrlichiosis. This article focuses on babesiosis, cytauxzoonosis, and bartonellosis, which have been reported with increased frequency in the United States over the past decade.
We now have an arsenal of test kits and prophylactics to choose from, and it can be confusing to know which to purchase. We tend to mold ourselves to the product instead of molding the product to the individual patient. This article should help you tailor the heartworm diagnostic, therapeutic, and prophylactic options to each of your canine and feline patients.
An owner depends on the veterinarian to assess the danger of any potential disease to his or her dog or cat. In some instances, these dangers are well known by the general public (rabies, distempter, FeLV), and owner's may request these "preventative measures".