One of the Nation's Top Veterinarians and Pet Health Activists Endorses Parasite Control Guidelines From a Leading Nonprofit; Dr. Marty Becker and CAPC Recommend Year-Round, Lifetime Parasite Control for Dogs and Cats

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Dr. Marty Becker and CAPC recommend year-round, lifetime parasite control for dogs and cats.

Marty is an internationally recognized pet health advocate who believes like we do in the power of parasite prevention.

Dr. Marty Becker, DV, co-author of best-selling books such as "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul" and popular veterinary contributor to ABC's "Good Morning America," has stamped his approval on guidelines developed by a nonprofit dedicated to fostering animal and human health.

"For years, I've talked about the importance of parasite control," said Becker. "Like a number of companion animal health organizations, I endorse the recommendations of the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) to administer year-round heartworm, flea and tick preventives for the life of your dog or cat no matter where you live."

The nonprofit CAPC is an independent council of veterinarians and other animal health care professionals established to create guidelines for the optimal control of internal and external parasites that threaten the health of pets and people. It brings together broad expertise in parasitology, internal medicine, public health, veterinary law, private practice and association leadership.

"We're thrilled to have Marty Becker -- 'America's best-loved family doctor for pets' -- on board," said Michael Paul, DVM, executive director of CAPC. "Marty is an internationally recognized pet health advocate who believes like we do in the power of parasite prevention."

Despite the availability of effective treatments to prevent them, parasites -- some deadly -- remain a common fact of life for dogs and cats. Most companion animals have the potential for contact with parasites multiple times a day, all year long. Experts agree there is a year-round threat in all regions of the country, even those that experience below-freezing temperatures, since parasites such as fleas and ticks thrive inside homes regardless of weather conditions outdoors.

Millions of dogs and cats in the United States are treated for fleas and ticks each year. Flea, tick and mite infestations cause great discomfort, transmit disease to pets and humans and significantly interfere with the relationship between people and their pets.

Dogs and cats also are commonly infected with intestinal parasites, some of which may be transmitted to people. Such "zoonotic" diseases, those that are passed from pets to people, jeopardize the health of pets and create a significant risk to the public. Three to six million people in the United States are infected with parasites each year. Some (like Toxocara sp. which can lead to systemic illness in humans including visual losses) can cause very serious disease.

"Parasite control today is simple, safe and effective -- so different from the chemical warfare nature it used to be with dips, bombs, sprays, powders and collars," Becker said. "Treating your dog or cat for parasites with a monthly product is one of the easiest and most effective ways to give your pet a long, happy, healthy life and eliminate related health risks to your family."

For more information about the CAPC guidelines and easy tips to keep your canine and human family safe from parasites and the diseases they cause, visit http://www.petsandparasites.org. This CAPC Web site provides general information about 10 of the most common internal and external parasites of dogs and cats. The site, which is divided into "Dog Owner" and "Cat Owner" sections, provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about pets, parasites and their effects on human and animal health. Pet owners can also find information about the behavioral changes and other symptoms that indicate their dog or cat may be infected by parasites.

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