Letter to the Editor

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Parasitology practice guidelines

We read the recent JAVMA News article1 on practice guidelines with interest but were disappointed that it did not mention the guidelines developed by the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of parasites.2 These guidelines have been an integral part of the veterinary profession for > 10 years and were developed by veterinary parasitologists on the basis of the latest research findings. The guidelines are updated in response to new information and are also regularly reviewed by veterinary practitioners to ensure that they remain relevant and accessible to individuals in clinical practice. Veterinarians who have questions about information in the guidelines, such as therapeutic choices or how to best manage parasitic outbreaks, can receive feedback from parasitologists and practitioners associated with the CAPC.

We know that practicing veterinarians trust and use the CAPC guidelines; a survey of veterinarians we conducted in 2010 showed that nearly 80% of respondents were aware of and frequently referred to the CAPC guidelines. In addition, we log hundreds of visits from veterinarians who refer to these guidelines every day.

We invite JAVMA readers to visit our website and review the guidelines. We firmly believe that the veterinary profession must work together to ensure that all practitioners have access to information that will help them practice better and smarter. The CAPC's mission is simple: to establish guidelines and recommendations for the optimal control of internal and external parasites that threaten the health of pets and people.

In addition to its veterinary guidelines, the CAPC also provides information that can help pet owners understand how to best protect their pets and themselves from parasitic diseases.3 Our pet owner website is an excellent resource that practitioners can access for quick and understandable information designed specifically for the lay public.

We hope readers are aware of the parasite prevalence maps available on both CAPC websites. There is probably no better tool individual practitioners can use to convey up-to-the-minute risks of parasitic diseases in their own communities. We know this function has allowed general practitioners to speak confidently about local parasitic risks and has shown pet owners that parasitic diseases are not someone else's problem.

The CAPC guidelines are among the oldest practice guidelines designed for veterinary practitioners. We believe that our guidelines remain the gold standard for the veterinary profession and that their consistent review and updating by an unbiased panel of experts has resulted in information that is both timely and relevant.

We appreciate your assistance in helping make these guidelines accessible to every veterinarian and in giving your readers full and accurate information about the CAPC guidelines.

Catherine Lund, dvm

President, Companion Animal Parasite Council, Providence, RI.

Christopher Carpenter, dvm, MBA

Executive Director, Companion Animal Parasite Council, St Augustine, Fla.

  • 1. Burns K. Finding the right direction. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013; 242: 122126.

  • 2. Companion Animal Parasite Council. CAPC Vet. Available at: www.capcvet.org. Accessed Jan 31, 2013.

  • 3. Companion Animal Parasite Council. Pets and parasites: the pet owner's parasite resource. Available at: www.petsandparasites.org. Accessed Jan 31, 2013.

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