Canine Sarcoptic Mange

Sarcoptic MangeSarcoptic Mange

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Canine Sarcoptic mange in dogs is a disease caused by a microscopic spider-like creature called a mite.  Your vet can make a diagnosis by examining skin scrapings under a microscope in which he look for sarcoptic mites.  Any breed can get dog mange.  Parasitic mites, which are external parasites that cause the mange in mammals, embed themselves in the skin and hair follicles in the animal.

This skin disease causes your dog to scratch and bite at himself very intensely.  The intense itching is caused by the female dog mites tunneling a few millimeters under the skin to lay their eggs.  A mite egg hatches in three to ten days.  The immature mites then develop into adults and begin to lay eggs too.  This cycle takes on 17 to 21 days.  A mite is a round parasite with four pairs of legs.

What does mange look like?  Symptoms of  mange are small red bumps that itch.  The bumps look very much like insect bites, which they are.  The skin breaks down which allows serum to seep out, which is caused by scratching, rubbing and biting at the itch.  You can see scabs, crusts, and patches of hair loss.  The skin becomes thick and darkly pigmented in the last stages.

The mites prefer the skin of the ears, elbows, legs and face.  Crusts and early hair loss are seen in these areas.  Intense itching and crusty ear tips, make the diagnosis certain. Most home remedies do not cure mange on dogs.

What is scabies? Scabies in dogs is a common name for Sarcoptic mange. Canine scabies is highly contagious.  If your dog has scabies, they can be transferred to you.  The first sign is an intense itching of the skin at the belt line.  Mites do not live on human skin over three weeks.  The problem is self limited if the dog is treated.

How to treat mange?  Treatment of Sarcoptic mange includes clipping scabies affected areas on long haired dogs and bathe the entire animal in an insecticide dip.  At least three dips are required at intervals of ten days each.  A fourth dip may be needed to catch late hatching eggs.

Dandruff shampoos can be used between insecticide dipping to loosen scales.

Cortisone will help relieve severe itching.  If the dog has sores that look infected, they can be treated with a soothing topical antibiotic ointment.

Canine Giardia

Giardia in dogsCanine Giardia

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What is giardia? It is a single cell parasite that lives in the intestine of dogs.  Canine giardia is caused by a microorganism present in contaminated feces and bodies of water.  Giardia in dogs is a common health problem.  Symptoms of parasitic infection include dog diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and lack of appetite.  Some parasites can cause intestinal upset.  Fecal samples can be examined for the presence of giardia, and a drug called Flagyl is commonly prescribed to treat it.  Dogs with giardia do not always show symptoms.  It can be especially fatal in puppies under six months of age.

The dog giardia vaccine is not recommended because it only prevents spreading of the disease through fecal matter and not the disease itself.

Dogs, cats and all animals can get this disease.  It has the potential to infect humans too.  They are too small to be seen by the naked eye.  It is spread by feces of infected animals.  Some dogs can be carriers and show no signs of the disease.  Humans that have giardia have diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, and sometimes fever and nausea.

The best way to diagnose the disease is by a trichrome stain of fresh feces.  The cysts may not be seen on a regular fecal examination.

Treatment of giardia is done by giving the antibiotic metronidazole or Furazolidone.  Kaopectate can be given to help control diarrhea in dogs.

Since the dog parasite is spread by fecal contamination of food, water, and the environment, prompt disposal of waste is very important.

The best way to prevent giardia infection is to make sure your dog has clean drinking water.

Dog Parasites

Dog Parasites

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What are parasites?  A parasite is an organism that lives in or on a host and obtains its nourishment from the host.  Intestinal parasites are dog parasites that live in the intestine of dogs and draw blood.  Worms in dogs are a common problem.  Some people think if their dog is found to have parasites in his stool, that he must be suffering from a disease state.

This is not always true.  Most dogs are infested with intestinal parasites at one time or another.  Some are born with them and others acquire them later in life.  They develop a certain a mount of immunity when they recover.  This helps to keep the worms in check.

We should distinguish a disease state from the presence of canine parasites.  Not all dogs with parasites will suffer from symptoms of a disease.

If canine worms are causing disease, there will be some change in the appearance of the stool.  This can be reflected by a decline in the general health of the dog.  Symptoms of parasites are a loss of weight, decreased appetite, upset stomach, anemia, mucus and/or blood in the feces.

Most dogs are capable of developing a resistance to certain dog worms like those having a larvae phase which migrates in their tissues like dog roundworms, hookworms and threadworms.  The effect is on the maturation cycle.  Instead of becoming in the intestine, the larvae remain dormant as cysts in the tissues.  Tapeworms and whipworms have no migratory stage and cause little build up of immunity.

Resistance to canine roundworms appears to be age related.  Dogs over six months of age usually do not have a heavy infestation of worms.  Ten or more worms are considered to be a heavy infestation.  Dogs with worms can suffer from malnutriton.

Cortisone which is an immunosuppressive drug have been shown to activate large numbers of hookworm larvae lying dormant in the dog’s tissue.  Stressful events such as surgery, trauma, severe disease, and emotional upset like shipping can activate dormant larvae.  This leads to the appearance of parasites in dogs stool.

During pregnancy, roundworms and hookworm larvae are activated and migrate to the unborn puppies.  Even when the mother has been wormed, a heavy parasite problem may appear in the puppies.  This happens because none of the deworming agents are affective against larvae encysted in the tissue.

Different types of worms in dogs may require different medications.  If your puppy is diagnosed with more than one type, ask your vet about a medication that will protect against more than one parasite at a time.

If your puppy goes outside for any length of time, more than likely it will pick up worms sometime in its life.

Whipworm Infection In Dogs

Dog whipworm infectionWhipworm

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What are Whipworms?  Whipworm infection in dogs is a common intestinal parasite.  They are two to three inches long and are very thin and threadlike.    They are a dog parasites that fastens itself to the wall of the gut.  They can cause severe irritation to the large intestine.  Dog whipworms get their name from the whip shape of the adult dog worms.  This canine parasite is hard to detect with the naked eye.  Dogs with worms may have anemia and show signs of weakness.

Symptoms of parasite infection are weight loss, watery, bloody diarrhea, streaked with muscus.  A baby whipworm emerge en route to the intestine.  When mature they attach themselves to the lower intestine and begin to reproduce.  Canine parasites can cause malnutrition problems.

The female lays fewer eggs than other canine worms and infestations are usually light.  This makes it difficult to detect the presence of whipworms.  The eggs are introduced by  licking infected ground.  Canine whipworm eggs are very hardy and can remain in the environment for years.

Telmintic and Panacur are effective dog worms treatment.  Two or more wormings are usually required to kill all worms in dogs.

To prevent your dog from getting worms, you must practice good sanitation.  Stools should be removed daily from your yard or kennel.  Cement runs can be bleached to kill bacteria and larvae.  This helps prevent re-infection.

Canine Hookworms

Canine Hookworms By Admin What are hookworms?  Canine hookworms are small thin dog worms about 1/2 to 1/2 inch long.  They are a dog intestinal parasite that fasten themselves to the wall of the intestine by a hook and draw … Continue reading