Canine Deworming is the best-known, most popular treatment for canine diseases, but a new study shows that the process is also having negative effects on people who have other chronic illnesses.
The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, found that dogs with chronic illnesses were more likely to have the disease after the treatment than dogs who had not had it.
It also found that patients who had received canine dewatering in the past were more than twice as likely to develop dementia than those who had never received it.
“This is one of the first studies to address this issue and the findings are quite concerning,” said lead author Jennifer Lea, a veterinarian and professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Manitoba.
“We know that dewormers can prevent some of the symptoms that can result from these chronic conditions and we know that this may be linked to the increased incidence of dementia in the patients,” she said.
The researchers, who analyzed data from more than 1,400 people who had been treated with canine deworming in Manitoba between 2006 and 2012, were looking at patients with at least one chronic illness, or had suffered a stroke or other type of disability.
The dogs had been given the treatment before being diagnosed with the illness, but the researchers were able to track their progress over time.
They found that, in patients who were previously diagnosed with a chronic condition, dewormings caused a spike in the number of dementia diagnoses.
In patients who did not have a prior diagnosis, dewaterings caused no change in the frequency of dementia diagnosis.
But in the study participants with a prior history of dementia were also more likely than those with no prior history to develop the disease.
And they also had a higher rate of dementia after receiving the treatment, compared with those who did have no prior dementia.
The findings also suggest that dewaterers may not be effective for everyone, Lea said.
“The higher the number you have of dementia, the more likely it is that you’ll develop dementia,” she added.
“But if you have a history of stroke or a stroke-related disability, and you’re receiving canine dewashing, then that could be an issue.”
Lea and her colleagues also examined data from nearly 7,000 people who were treated for dogs with heart disease, including those with heart failure, who were also taking the medication.
The researchers found that dewoundings did not prevent heart failure symptoms, and were linked to a higher risk of developing heart failure in people with heart problems.
The same group also found dewoming did not reduce heart failure severity in people who received heart bypass surgery.
The authors of the study, who include Lea’s colleague and associate professor of medicine at McMaster University, also found the increased risk of heart failure among people who got the medication did not seem to be related to the type of heart disease.
“There’s some evidence that the heart rate increase associated with the dewormed dog might have been due to some of those cardiovascular events,” Lea added.
The finding was echoed by an American veterinary medical association, which wrote in a letter to the editor that the results should be taken with a grain of salt.
“While it is certainly possible that a correlation between heart disease and canine dewaters was present, the authors do not provide any supporting evidence,” said the letter, which was published online last week.
The association urged veterinarians not to rush to prescribe dewols, and said that patients should wait until they are clear about the benefits of the treatment.
The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The paper is titled Canine and canine diseases: an epidemiological study.