May 10, 2013

Be Kind to Animals Week (Part 6/7) – Parasite Control for Animals and Humans Alike!

By Shannon Sullivan

American Humane’s Be Kind to Animals Week has been celebrated nationally since 1915. In observance of this special week, May 5-11, Amazon CARES is running a seven part blog series addressing the major ways our organization is kind to animals.

Topical parasite control being
applied to a dog.
Internal and external parasites can be real a problem for animals. Some parasites are transmitted from the stool of other animals or from other animals directly, some from consuming rodents or birds, and others are considered normal in small numbers.

Internal parasites, such as hookworms and roundworms, can cause diarrhea, weight loss, poor hair coat, and vomiting.  External parasites, such as demodex mites or fleas, can cause itchy and inflamed skin, hair loss, and secondary bacterial infections. Whether internal or external, parasites are uncomfortable and unhealthy for animals.

Our Peru Director Bruno applying topical parasite control.
Luckily, most parasites are easily controlled with simple medications that can be administered by mouth, by injection, or applied topically. At Amazon CARES, we routinely provide internal and external parasite control to dogs and cats - even the occasional monkey or cow! During our mobile clinics in 2012, 1,947 animals received treatment for parasites!

Doctors Kendall and Luis administering an oral dewormer to a monkey.
A cow receiving injectable parasite control from Doctors Luis and Betty.

A nurse from the local health department dispensing human
parasite control during an Amazon CARES mobile clinic.

Some parasites can be transmitted from

animals to humans, especially when living in close quarters with one another. Therefore, Amazon CARES works with local health departments to provide parasite control to humans as well.

Demodex mites, or mange, is a common problem for many dogs in northern Peru. Demodex mites are microscopic and are part of the normal flora of a dog’s skin in small numbers. Sometimes, for reasons not fully understood, the normal mite population can become out of control, resulting in extreme and uncomfortable changes in the skin and hair coat. With basic parasite medication, the mite population can be controlled. Providing basic parasite control is a simple, yet profound, way that Amazon CARES is kind to animals. Just look at these before and after pictures!

The types and frequency of parasite control your pet needs depends on your pet’s lifestyle and locale. Talk to your pet’s veterinarian about the appropriate parasite control for your pet.

Get your own Be Kind pic here!

Read Part 7 - Humane Education here!

Missed Part 5 - Vaccinations? Read it here!

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