Local California Veterinarians Now Testing for Canine Shistosomiasis

Our lab was recently contacted by a local veterinarian to inform us that, thanks to our discovery of canine shistosomiasis in the Colorado River, she was able to positively identify the parasite in one of her canine patients.

The dog had initially come to her office earlier this year with general symptoms of lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. The veterinarian did routine blood work and parasite screening, and everything came back negative. They treated the dog with palliative care. However, the dog did not really improve.

In March, the dog’s owner saw our lab’s work on canine shistosomiasis featured in the LA Times and made the connection that they had visited the Colorado River before the dog started getting sick. The vet immediately ran the test for the parasite and discovered high amounts of the parasite present in the dog. The vet has started the dog on the appropriate medications and hopes she’ll make a full recovery.

We love seeing the practical effects of scientific research, and we hope other dogs and pets may be helped from our discovery. If you have a pet that has been affected by canine shistosomiasis from the Colorado River, we’d love to hear from you! You can contact us by emailing Dr. Dillman.

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