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Dogs + Parasites

  • Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is the leading cause of allergic conditions and itching in dogs.

  • Most people know someone who is allergic to certain foods, such as strawberries or nuts. Food allergy is one of the five most common allergies or hypersensitivities known to affect dogs. In a pet with an allergy, the immune system overreacts and produces antibodies to substances that it would normally tolerate.

  • Anaplasmosis is a tickborne disease caused by the infectious bacterial organism Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It is transmitted through bites of the deer tick (also known as the black-legged tick) and western black-legged tick.

  • Cheyletiellosis is an uncommon but highly contagious skin parasite of dogs, cats, humans, and rabbits caused by Cheyletiella spp. mites. The most important clinical sign of cheyletiellosis is scaling or dandruff. Due to the large size of the skin mite, it is easily seen under a microscope set on low magnification. Cheyletiella mites are susceptible to most topical insecticides and the prognosis is excellent.

  • Coccidiosis is an intestinal tract infection caused by one-celled organisms (protozoa) called coccidia. Coccidia are sub-classified into a number of genera, and each genus has a number of species. At least six different genera of coccidia can infect dogs. These microscopic parasites spend part of their life cycle in the lining cells of the intestine.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.