Our pups are some of the most important members of our lives. Whether it be waking up with them to go on a walk, playing in the backyard, or just cuddling on the couch, man's best friend is a companion for life.

A dog smiling at a camera
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Because of the bond created, it's only natural to want to protect your dog from any dangers that might come its way.

There's Something in the Water

Scientifically known as heterobilharzia americana, Liver Fluke is an incredibly dangerous parasite that was recently discovered in Utah. Found in a lake a few hundred feet from a Colorado River tributary, Professor Adler Dillman of UC Riverside believes that the parasite has spread from the lake in Moab to at least the Gulf of Mexico.

A group of parasites under a microscope
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What is Liver Fluke?

Liver Fluke is a parasite that flourishes in water, relies heavily on dogs as hosts, and until recently, had never been found in the west. This fact makes researchers nervous. Where did it come from, how far will its spread, and what does it affect?

Two parasite worms in clear containers
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The parasite found its landing in China and coastal Asia, after latching on to undercooked seafood. It is unknown how the parasite found itself in Utah, much less the Colorado River, but there's no way to stop it now.

The parasite, if contracted by your dog, causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea, but the symptoms can be treated. It is of maximum importance to take your dog to the vet immediately if they begin showing signs of contracting the parasite, especially if they've recently been swimming.

A dog swimming
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While the sickness is treatable, the best way to prevent your best friend from contracting Liver Fluke is to avoid natural bodies of water in Arizona, especially if they are connected to the Colorado River.

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