Beware of the dog, particularly if it is a puppy. Never mind how cute it might be for it could make you seriously ill. That is the message of caution from Clement Ng and his team at the Milwaukee Health Department, USA, who have found potentially deadly parasites lurking hi the faeces of many pet dogs in the Milwaukee area. When Ng and his colleagues examined over 300 samples from various show dog clubs, boarding kennels and veterinary clinics, they found the Cryptosporidium virus in 7.3 per cent of the animals and Giardia virus in 11.7 per cent. Samples contained adult parasites, eggs, larvae or highly-resistant cysts. Despite these alarming figures, says Ng, none of the dogs showed any symptoms or signs of sickness. Milwaukee has a history of problems with Cryptosporidium. Over 100 died and more than 400,000 became severely ill when drinking water was contaminated in 1993.
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