Study Finds Potentially Deadly Dog Threat Growing Across U.S. 

Heterobilharzia americana, the liver fluke, was detected in the Colorado River near the Arizona border by University of California, Riverside researchers. 

The team went to Blythe, CA, a border town east of Joshua Tree National Park, after learning numerous canines were infected after swimming there. 

Parasites mature and mate in intestinal veins. When eggs enter the animal's lungs, spleen, liver, and heart, they cause infection.  

Granulomas, hard cell clusters, arise when the immune system activates, stopping organ tissue function.  

Like Save And Share

Dogs, raccoons, marsh bunnies, horses, bobcats, mountain lions, and opossums can get it. 

The parasite is spread by snails, so the researchers gathered almost 2,000 from the riverbanks.  

The researchers were surprised to find two snail species "actively shedding" the worm, as they didn't realize the snails had traveled there. 

For More Stories