Dog Park Check - Solivita
By Jim Young, Manager – Bellalago Veterinary Hospital
We have some results from our visit to Solivita’s dog park. While we’re always warned that we won’t find any samples, we find more than enough in the back of the parks. We encourage dog owners to clean up after their pets when at the dog park! Remember to keep an eye on your dogs while at the park!
We also looked around for possible safety issues and found a few things we were concerned about.
Solivita's Dog Park
Fecal Float – nothing present (hookworms have been found in the past and are likely still present)
Direct – Coccidia present
DOGGIE DRINKING FOUNTAIN: As before, we have an issue with how the doggie drinking fountain is being used. By plugging the drain, the contaminated water is unable to properly drain. This could well be the cause of the Coccidia we found in the sample we took. The rubber stopper that we had removed, had been replaced. In fact, it seems like it had been in there for some time. Watch the video above and you can see just how disgusting the rubber stopper has become!
Dogs drinking from the plugged drinking fountain are at risk for common water born diseases like Leptospirosis and Coccidia. These diseases are spread by wildlife like birds and raccoons. As noted above, Coccidia was present in at least one of the samples we collected!
A quick note regarding some feedback we received after one of our last checks: We were told that there was a belief among some in the Solivita community that Coccidia could be prevented through vaccines. Unfortunately, this is completely inaccurate. We checked with both of our doctors and all major veterinary vaccine manufacturers and no one had heard of such a vaccine. We truly wish such a vaccine existed, but it does not. The only way to prevent Coccidia is to prevent pets from drinking contaminated water. This is why we were handing out the collapsible water bowls. Using this, your dog can always be sure your dog is drinking from an uncontaminated, safe bowl. If you’d like a FREE bowl, stop by the hospital and pick one up!
HOOKWORMS: Hookworms were not found this time, but have been found in the past. Hookworm eggs can survive in the soil for years so once they are present, they will always be a threat! Hookworms can be prevented with products like HeartGard, Trifexis, Sentinel Spectrum, or ProHeart 6. Having your dog on a preventative is important! Hookworms can be spread to humans! For more information, give us a call.
HEARTWORMS: Mosquitos were present and are present just about everywhere in Florida. Mosquitos carry heartworms which are VERY present in the local area. We have a lot of patients who are heartworm positive which can have a significant negative impact on quality of life and life expectancy! Heartworms can be easily prevented with products like HeartGard, Trifexis, Sentinel Spectrum, or ProHeart 6. For more information about Heartworm prevention, give us a call!
Prevention is the best strategy to keep your pet happy and healthy! Give us a call so we can ensure your pet's well-being before they head to the park!
METHODOLOGY: We ran 3 samples randomly selected from the many specimens we collected. With each of the randomly selected samples, we did a fecal float checking for parasites. We also randomly selected one sample for a direct screen for bacteria and other microscopic issues.