Despite evidence of a minor role of gastrointestinal parasites in causing disease in owned pet populations prophylactically treated with anthelmintics, gastrointestinal parasitism remains an important consideration in the care of animals in shelters, and in owned pet populations in developing countries, where regular prophylactic treatment is lacking. In addition, the zoonotic potential of many organisms is a universal public health concern. Animal shelters facilitate spread of gastrointestinal parasites to incoming animals and shelter staff if there is overcrowding and frequent exposure to a contaminated environment. The prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in shelter dogs is typically higher than in owned dogs. In this review, we report the prevalence of parasites in shelter dogs worldwide, and review parasite control strategies for use in shelters. We also discuss whether the shelter environment might magnify risks for development of parasiticide resistance in resident parasite populations. We recommend an integrated parasite control approach based on sanitation measures to reduce environmental contamination and accompanied with appropriate use of anthelmintics in shelter dogs. Ideally, every animal should be treated after fecal examination for parasites during its stay in the shelter, although it is recognized that for many shelters, the resources to do this might be prohibitive.
|Publisher||Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute|
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