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Dogs + Parasites

  • Pythiosis is a waterborne infection that can infect the GI tract or skin of dogs. It can cause extreme weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea or skin lesions such as ulcerating nodules and draining tracts. This disease is more common in southern regions. Treatment involves surgical removal of all affected material if possible, including limb amputation if indicated. Different antifungal therapies have shown some efficacy and need to be continued long-term. Prognosis for resolution of pythiosis is guarded to poor.

  • Owning a puppy can be an extremely rewarding experience but it is also a large responsibility that lasts the entire lifetime of the dog. Working with your veterinarian, there are several preventive measures to help keep your puppy safe and healthy as he grows up, including vaccination, parasite treatment and prevention, identification, and spaying or neutering your dog.

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is spread by various species of ticks and is not confined just to the Rocky Mountain regions of North America. Clinical signs can be non-specific and affect multiple body systems. Early diagnosis and treatment give the best prognosis for recovery after treatment with antibiotics. Prevention of tick bites and prompt removal of ticks is important.

  • Roundworms are the most common gastrointestinal worm found in dogs and can also be transmitted to people. They are of most concern to puppies when present in large numbers, causing stunted growth, a pot-bellied appearance, and recurrent diarrhea. Diagnostic testing, treatment, and preventive measures are explained in this handout.

  • Salmon poisoning is caused by a type of bacteria found within parasitic flatworms that infect the tissues of wild fish found in coastal streams of the Pacific Northwest.

  • Sarcoptic mange, also known as scabies, is caused by a parasitic mite that burrows just beneath the surface of the skin. The presence of the sarcoptic mite causes intense itching; an affected dog will constantly chew and scratch his skin. Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious to other dogs and humans.

  • Sarolaner is given by mouth and is used to treat flea and tick infestations and has also been used off-label to treat certain types of mange and mites. Give as directed. Side effects are uncommon but may include stomach upset or neurologic symptoms. Do not use in pets with a history of seizures. If a negative reaction occurs, please call the veterinary office.

  • Tapeworms are parasites that infect the gastrointestinal tract of dogs, other animals, and humans. Several types of tapeworms are known to infect pets, but the most common species observed in dogs is Dipylidium caninum, which is transmitted through fleas. Risk factors, clinical signs, treatment, and prevention are explained in this handout. Other, less common types of tapeworms that affect dogs and humans are also covered.

  • Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of their host and can in turn transmit diseases to your pets or even you. They are prolific breeders and their life cycles can extend through multiple seasons. Prompt removal or use of preventatives limit or prevent the spread of disease, or kill the ticks.

  • Von Willebrand's disease causes an inability for blood to clot resulting in excessive bleeding. If this disease is suspected, initial screening tests include a complete blood count (CBC), buccal mucosal bleeding time, and a coagulation profile. More advanced diagnostics include assays that assess the quantity and functionality of vWF. DNA testing is available and most commonly used to evaluate animals used in breeding programs.