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Beware, Murky Water Ahead! Protect Your Pups from Outbreaks of Parasites and A New Distemper Threat in NC.

Dog wading through creek water

Attention dog owners! Scientists have discovered a new parasite that is migrating from the West into areas that will impact the Southern Water Dogs community. Read on for more information about this deadly parasite and how to keep your furiendz safe.

The Background

On March 14, 2024, scientists announced that a potentially fatal parasite that originally was found only in Texas is now being found in other states including North Carolina, Florida, Kansas, Colorado, and Southern California. 

What is the Parasite?

Found in bodies of water, this parasite is called H. americana and is similar to a tapeworm. This icky worm lives inside of two species of snails living in water sources like lakes and streams. 

The Impact of the Parasite

For outdoor enthusiasts like many of our Southern Water Dogs community, we may be impacted by this parasite. According to several articles we’ve read which we’ve cited below for your reference, the parasite doesn’t affect humans, but can be very serious and potentially fatal for our canine furiendz. If a dog plays in or drinks water with these affected snails, the parasite will infect the dog. Although the symptoms of this particular parasite are typically subtle to start with, they progress to more severe complications within a couple of months such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, severe weight loss, and potential liver disease. Not good!

What to do if your dog shows symptoms of having a parasite?

Get to the vet ASAP! A fecal test will be performed to verify the disease, and several medicines will likely be prescribed such as praziquantel or fenbendazole (3.). We’ve found that canned pumpkin added to your dog’s food helps a pup struggling with diarrhea, but please be sure to ask your vet before attempting this recommendation. 

Canine Distemper in the Mills River & Flat Rock Area

In addition to the troubling news about waterborne parasites, we’ve also learned of a canine distemper outbreak among raccoons in the Mills River and Flat Rock areas. This highly contagious virus mirrors a cold in humans and is spread through airborne exposure when infected animals cough, sneeze, or bark. Symptoms to watch for in wildlife include erratic jumping, circling, a bark-like cough, and episodes of falling over. If your dogs interact with wildlife or frequent these areas, they may be at risk. Protect them by ensuring their vaccinations are up-to-date, and if you suspect your dog or local wildlife might be affected, immediately contact Henderson County Animal Control at (828) 697-4912. Quick action can prevent the spread and save lives.

Let’s be vigilant to stop the spread of these health threats, ensuring our furry friends remain happy, healthy, and safe. As always, if you have any information to keep our Southern Water Dogs community informed, please let us know so that we can update others. Together, we can keep our beloved pets safe from these dangers.

  3. Eileen M. Johnson, DVM, MS, PhD, Canine Schistosomiasis in North America: An Underdiagnosed Disease With an Expanding Distribution, (, Compendium, 2010), Vol 23, No 3

November 2023

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AKC Golden Retriever


Violet is a stunning light colored golden with a gorgeous coat! She is extraordinarily intelligent and consistently seeks your approval and direction. Violet has a way of staring deep into your eyes as if she can read your mind. She is a petite golden with slender composition and elegant stature. Violet is quite the lady, and is lovingly attached to her guardian family, where she lives with them at the beach. 

Health Report

  • DOB- June 13, 2021
  • AKC Registered SS27358403
  • Sire: Double K Saprky
  • Dam: Krystal Kath Alena
  • Degenerative Myelopathy: Clear
  • PRCD-PRA: Clear
  • GR-PRA 1: Clear
  • GR-PRA 2: Clear
  • Ichthyosis 1 (dandruff): Clear
  • Ichthyosis 2 (dandruff): Clear
  • NCL 5: Clear
  • OFA Hips: Good
  • OFA Elbows: Normal
  • OFA Cardiac: Normal