VCA Animal Hospitals

Is your dog park dangerous?

Published: Jul 11, 2012

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Dog parks are one of the best places to bring your canine companion for exercise and socialization with other people and dogs. These places are usually fenced in for safety and provide plenty of places for dogs to explore, but there are also some dangers pet owners should be aware of. Knowing the risks involved can help keep you and your dog safe during play.

Most owners know they should check their dogs for external parasites like ticks after a walk in the woods or another outdoor area, but it is also important to be aware of the internal parasites at dog parks. According to WebMD, gastrointestinal parasites like Giardia in dogs and Cryptosporidium can pose a risk. In a recent study of feces collected from dogs in Colorado, researchers found these organisms more often in dogs that frequented dog parks than those that did not, the news outlet reports. Giardia can cause giardiasis, which is treated with an antibiotic or anti-parasitic medication, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.

Infectious diseases can also be spread at the dog park. A coughing dog at the park can pose a threat if infected with the bacteria that causes kennel cough in dogs or canine influenza. Luckily, there are vaccines for dogs to prevent these diseases, and scooping up dog feces can prevent the spread of parvovirus, another infectious disease that is spread through dog waste. 


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.