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Parasites

  • Coccidia are single-celled organisms that can act as parasites after infecting your dog through the gastrointestinal tract. The most common form affecting dogs, Isospora, is not a concern for infecting people. They are highly resistant to environmental conditions and cleanliness is important to prevent re-infection. Treatment is often simple with the appropriate antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian.

  • Cuterebra are botflies that spend the larvae stage of their lifecycle within rodent or rabbit hosts and can accidentally infect dogs. They enter through the nose, mouth or a skin wound. They usually develop a cyst under the skin that can be located as it enlarges and often a breathing hole can be seen. The larva (warble) will leave the dog when it is ready to form a pupa but it will often leave behind a secondary bacterial skin infection or abscess in the empty cyst. Rarely, the larva/cuterebra migrate aberrantly through the dog causing inflammation and damage to different tissues, including the brain and eyes, and even potentially cause a severe systemic inflammatory response. Treatment depends on what damage has been done and can include removal of the warble, debridement or removal of the cyst, antibiotics and symptomatic and supportive treatment of the results of aberrant migration. Prognosis is generally good if only the skin is involved. Cuterebra infection can not be prevented easily, so monitoring the dog regularly for signs is important.

  • Cuterebra is the genus or scientific family name of the North American rabbit or rodent botfly. Twenty-six species of Cuterebra are known to occur in the United States and Canada. Cuterebra larvae develop within the tissues of certain animal hosts, and during this phase of their life cycle, they are commonly referred to as 'warbles'.

  • Cytauxzoonosis is an often-fatal disease caused by a tick-borne protozoan parasite, typically found in bobcats. It is more commonly seen in the southern United States but is spreading with tick migration. It can cause anorexia, lethargy, respiratory difficulty, anemia, and jaundice. Diagnostic testing, treatment options, and preventives are described in this handout. This disease is not transmissible to dogs or humans.

  • Mange is a parasitic skin disease caused by microscopic mites. Two different mange mites cause skin disease in dogs. Demodectic mange, sometimes just called 'demodex' or 'red mange', is the most common form of mange in dogs. Demodectic mange most often occurs when a dog has an immature immune system, allowing the number of skin mites to increase rapidly.

  • Dipping for demodectic mange may be done by the veterinary health team, or at the owner's home. These instructions will help the dog owner treat their pet for mange in their home.

  • Diarrhea is a symptom of an underlying problem that may be minor or very serious. Some cases may resolve on their own or with minimal treatment, while other cases require in-depth diagnostic testing and more aggressive treatment to address the underlying condition. The possible causes, diagnostic tests, and treatment protocols for diarrhea in dogs are numerous and are explained in this handout.

  • Common conditions of pet rabbits include upper respiratory tract infections, internal and external parasites, dental disease, GI stasis, uterine problems, and pododermatitis. Upper respiratory infections are often caused by bacteria including Pasteurella multocida. Rabbits can become infected with various intestinal parasites, as well as external parasites such as ear and fur mites, fleas, and occasionally ticks. Rabbits’ teeth are continuously growing but chewing food, as well as chewing on wooden blocks, branches, and toys, helps them wear their teeth down at a rate equal to their growth. Occasionally, tooth or jaw trauma or disease causes misalignment of the upper and lower jaws and overgrowth of teeth results. Regular yearly check-ups enables early diagnosis and treatment of some rabbit diseases. Whenever a rabbit stops eating, for whatever reason, it is important to take her to see your veterinarian immediately for an evaluation.

  • The ear mite is a surface mite that lives on cats, dogs, rabbits, and ferrets. It is usually found in the ear canal but it can also live on the skin surface. Mites are barely visible to the naked eye. Clinical signs of infestation vary in severity and may include ear irritation, leading to scratching at the ears or head shaking, dark waxy or crusty discharge from the ear, areas of hair loss resulting from self-trauma, a crusted rash around or in the ear, and an aural hematoma. Your veterinarian will advise you about which insecticidal products are suitable. Your veterinarian may want to re-examine your pet to ensure that the mites have been eliminated after the initial treatment has been performed.

  • Echinococcus multilocularis is a tapeworm species that is found in the Northern Hemisphere. Dogs, cats, and humans are all susceptible to infection by E. multilocularis, along with additional species. While the parasite typically produces no clinical sign in cats, it can have life-threatening effects in humans. E. multilocularis is impossible to distinguish from other tapeworm species without specialized testing, but it responds to the same dewormers that are used to treat other tapeworm species. Therefore, pets suspected of having tapeworms should be treated promptly and care should be taken to avoid direct contact with animal feces.