"Pets are in peril" as a deadly parasite sweeps throughout the US, dog owners are warned. 

This parasite, which is a flatworm, is also called a liver fluke. 

Although it does not cause illness in humans, it can induce a skin rash called "swimmer's itch" in certain individuals.  

Researchers found that the parasite had spread to California after collecting and testing 2,000 snails from the banks of the Colorado River. 

This was done after discovering that multiple infected dogs had swum in that area. 

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A study conducted by researchers from the University of California has discovered a new location for the parasite Heterobilharzia americana. 

In addition to horses, bobcats, nutria, marsh rabbits, raccoons, and mountain lions are among the many animals that can be infected by the parasite.  

Canine schistosomiasis is a disease that affects the intestines and liver in dogs caused by the worm. 

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