A major health-care concern, infection of humans by the dog round-worm Toxocara canis, was effectively the reason for setting up the Charity some 27 years ago.
The subject has reappeared with the recent publication of a new research paper published in the Veterinary Record, and some press speculation has fuelled concerns again within the public.
The research shows that detection of Toxocara eggs in hair samples from round the back end is a much more reliable test than checking soil samples, the method by which incidence figures were previously obtained. Pro Dogs has always maintained that soil samples could not differentiate between Toxocara eggs from dogs and from other species which also can be infected, such as foxes and badgers.
Pro Dogs sees the new research as positive and a timely reminder that all dogs should be wormed at regular intervals, especially in households shared by young children. There are three sound lessons to be learned by responsible dog owners (and parents):-
a) worm your dog thoroughly and regularly (your vet or local pet shop will advise); make sure the preparation is effective and give the right dose for the weight of your dog.
b) pay regular attention to painstaking grooming of your dog, especially round the rear end, and if in doubt, bath the dog (or at least the backquarters) especially if there are signs of soiling of the coat.
c) establish a firm routine that children always thoroughly wash hands before meals or eating snacks, whether they have been playing outside or simply cuddling the dog.