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Int J Parasitol. 2002 May;32(5):581-93.

Companion animal parasitology: a clinical perspective.

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  • 1School of Veterinary Clinical Science, Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Science, Murdoch University, 6150, Murdoch, WA, Australia.


In recent years there have been many changes to the ways that clinical veterinary science is conducted and nowhere is this more evident than in companion animal practice. Veterinarians working with pet dogs and cats are facing new challenges associated with the emergence and re-emergence of parasitic diseases. Some, such as Neospora caninum, have been recently recognised; others like Giardia and Cryptosporidium have been reported with increasing frequency, in part as a result of laboratory tests with improved sensitivity and specificity. In many regions, the emergence of parasitic diseases has been a consequence of pet travel and exotic diseases pose a unique diagnostic challenge for the veterinarian, as the index of suspicion for these conditions may be absent. The ranges of certain vector-borne diseases such as babesiosis, hepatozoonosis, ehrlichiosis, leishmaniasis and dirofilariasis are extending due to ecological and climatic changes and enhanced by animals with subclinical infection returning home from endemic areas. In companion animal practice, veterinarians have the additional responsibility of providing accurate information about the zoonotic transmission of parasite infections from pets, especially to those most vulnerable such as children, the elderly and the immunocompromised. Effective education is vital to allay public concerns and promote responsible pet ownership.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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