- Fish & Ponds
- Wild Side
|Unwanted K9 Pests: Internal Parasites|
|Written by Elizabeth Parker|
|Monday, 09 August 2010 14:14|
A few years ago, the Millbrook Hunt Club in upstate New York realized that many of its foxhounds were becoming seriously ill. The dogs, known for their athletic prowess and seemingly limitless energy, appeared to be wasting away. Extensive testing revealed that a rare parasite, leishmaniasis, was to blame. Public health officials now believe this particular parasite is under control, but other, potentially deadly parasites pose continued health threats to both you and your dog. Internal parasites are of special concern, since they're often not detectable by owners.
Symptoms: Sometimes an infected dog will scoot his butt along the floor in an attempt to relieve the irritation.
Roundworms This very common worm looks like curled spaghetti strands in your dog's stool (yes, you should inspect it occasionally). Roundworms absorb nutrients in a dog's intestines, interfering with digestion. Dogs can get roundworms from eating an infected rodent or through contact with contaminated feces. Puppies can get roundworms in utero, or while nursing.
Symptoms: Puppies with roundworm may have diarrhea and distended bellies, but sometimes no visual signs are apparent.
Giardia These are protozoan parasites that can be ingested through contaminated water, soil and feces. It can cause digestive disorders in dogs. These may lead to either acute or intermittent diarrhea, sometimes resulting in weight loss.
Symptoms: A dog may have no symptoms or have diarrhea and gas.
Heartworms Heartworm larvae can live in mosquitoes, so when a mosquito carrying this larvae bites a dog, that larvae can enter the canine's blood and develop into parasitic heartworms. These worms then migrate to the heart and lungs and nearby blood vessels. In severe cases, it can lead to congestive heart failure in dogs. Heartworm infection is detected through a blood sample.
Symptoms: Dogs with heartworms can have no symptoms, but may also have a cough, decreased appetite, difficulty breathing and avoid exertion.
Hookworms These reside in the small intestine of dogs and feed on the animal's blood. If left untreated, hookworms can cause canine death. A dog contracts hookworms by ingesting larvae through contaminated water or soil, or by eating another infected animal. Larvae can also penetrate the skin. Puppies may be born with hookworm infection.
Symptoms: An infected dog may be weak, anemic and have diarrhea and vomiting.
Coccidia This is a protozoan parasite that dogs can pick up by eating an infected rodent or some other infested critter. Coccidia can live and multiply in a dog's intestines. Dehydration and other problems related to coccidia can lead to death in severe cases.
Symptoms: A dog may experience mild to severe diarrhea, a painful abdomen and vomiting.
As indicated, both you and your dog could be targeted by one or more parasites in your lifetimes. But fear not. A one-two-three punch could knock this dog and human health problem out cold.
|Last Updated on Monday, 09 August 2010 14:28|
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