News & Information

News & Updates from the park

12

Sep 2018

The Results Are In – Kilcona Park Coyote Research Project

Posted by / in Information /

KPDC has been informed of the results of the study that Manitoba Health conducted at Kilcona Park in May. The goal of the research was to learn whether a gastrointestinal parasite – E. multilocularis – is being passed from coyotes to dogs. The tapeworm doesn’t hurt dogs, but if people are infected, it can cause serious liver damage that is very difficult to treat.

Many Kilcona dog owners volunteered to help with the research project by collecting coyote scat at the dog park and providing stool samples from their own dogs.

University of Manitoba Professor Pierre Plourde, a member of the research team,  has informed KPDC that all of the dog stool sample results were negative for the parasite. Of the forty-nine coyote scat samples that were collected, one tested positive for E. multilocularis. Dr. Plourde says the research team is not very alarmed or surprised by this result.  He says the risk of human infection is still very low.

Dr. Plourde says the best way to prevent humans swallowing tapeworm eggs and becoming infected is to prevent your dog from becoming infected.  Don’t allow your dog to hunt and eat wild rodents like mice.

If you’re concerned that your dog may have eaten rodents, take a stool sample to your veterinarian to be tested. The good news is that if a dog is infected, the tapeworm is easy to treat with medication.

Dr. Ploudre’s message to Kilcona Park users is that it’s good practice to wash your hands after handling any animal (to prevent coming into contact with and swallowing tapeworm eggs) and it is prudent to prevent pets from hunting and eating wild animals, including rodents to prevent them from getting infected with tapeworms.  He says those two simple measures are the most effective and easy ways to prevent human infections of E. multilocularis.

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