For more information on coccidia please visit: http://www.peteducation.com
GIARDIA - are one celled organisms that live in the intestines of dogs and cats. Infection with giardia is common but the disease is rare. Not much is know about the organism and its life cycle at this time. A dog becomes infected by ingesting the cyst form of the the parasite. It is passed in the feces and can contaminate a dogs food and water and his environment. Humans can also get giardia but it is unknown if a dog with giardia can infect a human. Symptoms of giardia are usually not seen. Usually if a puppy is effected you will see diarrhea. Usually this diarrhea will have a bad odor, be pale, and look greasy. This disease prevents the dog from absorbing nutrients properly and damages the intestinal lining and hinders digestion. There are stool tests that can check for giardia. Giardia is usually treated by giving PANACUR. This can be obtained through your vet or Revival. There are also a few other drugs out there that will treat giardia. These have to be obtained through your vet.
For more information on giardia please visit: http://www.peteducation.com
HEARTWORM - Heartworm are caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. They carry the larvae of the heartworm. The Larvae can live in the blood stream of a dog for up to 2 years. Heartworm can cause irreversible damage to the heart by clogging the chambers of the heart and the pulmonary artery leading to low blood flow and inevitable death. In severe cases the worms can block the vena cava that brings blood to the right side of the heart causing the blood to back up and enlarge the liver causing serious damage.
Signs of heartworm include: decreased appetite, lost of weight and lethargy. First signs of heartworm is often a cough. There are several blood tests that can confirm the diagnosis of heartworm.
Once again Ivermec is an effective preventitive against heartworm. Given in a shot or orally once a month. Remember this is a preventitive and not a cure. In cases where a dog has heartworms more drastic drugs are give often containing arsenic to kill the adult worms.
For more information on heartworm please go to http://www.peteducation.com
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RINGWORM - Contrary to popular belief, ringworm is not a worm but actually a fungus. It can infect cats, dogs and humans. Ringworm is transmitted by direct contact or with an item that is contaminated with spores. Symptoms are very specific including a small round, hairless lesion. The lesion will have scaly skin in the center and small pustules. This lesion can be sore and itchy. It can commonly be misdiagnosed as mange. Some cases will spread to the face and nose and look like an autoimmune disease. Lesion left alone will heal on their own in 4 months. There are topical anti fungal creams that can be put on the lesions to help speed the process and ease pain and itching. Anti fungal shampoos and dips can also be used.
For more information on ringworm please visit: http://www.peteducation.com
ROUNDWORMS - are very common internal parasites infecting the digestive system of dogs and cats. Most puppies are infested with roundworms. These worms can be transmitted in several ways also. Ingestion of eggs, ingestion of larvae, Ingestion through mothers milk and transportation through the uterus. These worms can also inhibit nutrient absorption and damage of the intestinal lining. Most of the time you wont see any indication of these worms unless you see the adults in the vomit or feces. If the case is severe you may see bloating of the belly, dull dry coat, and a thin dog. A flotation test of the feces is used for detection of roundworms. Once again Ivermec and Pyrantel Pamoate are effective treatments. There are also other over the counter wormers that you can obtain virtually anywhere.
For more information on roundworms please visit: http://www.peteducation.com
TAPEWORMS - are flat segmented worms. Each segment of a tapeworm is capable of reproducing. These worms can often be long in length. These worms have no digestive systems of their own so they absorb nutrients from their host by attaching to the lining of the digestive system. You can often see tape worms around the anus of an infected dogs. When dried they look like grains of uncooked rice. You may see discomfort or nervousness in the infected animal, vomiting and convulsions caused by the toxins the worms produce. Diagnosis is usually by finding dried or live worms on the dog on in the feces. Once again there are many over the counter wormers out there you can get to treat for tapeworms. I recomend Ivermec or Pyrantel Pamoate.
For more information on tapeworms please visit: http://www.peteducation.com
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FLEAS and TICKS - These are small insects that live on the skin of the dog sucking blood. Each of these insects can cause other diseases such as Lime disease caused by the bite of the tick or also tick paralysis or plague carried by the rat flea and are a major pest to our canine friends. Fleas and ticks can be passed back from animal to animal by direct contact or close proximity or even by being in an area where an infected animal has been or where these insects congregate. In the case of fleas you will see the dog constantly scratching from the bites of the fleas. Ticks can infest your dog in small numbers and you man never know. I recommend if you have been in a area that is known to have ticks such as up the mountains that you thoroughly check your dog for these parasites. Common places to find ticks are the base of the tail, the genital areas, arm pits, ears, and between the toes. There are so many products out there to treat for fleas and ticks. They come in various forms in shampoos or dips or once a month drops on the skin with pyrethrin, or oral solutions, or injections. Ivermec is once again used in prevention for fleas and ticks although not as effective as some of the other alternatives out there. Remember that just treating the dog for fleas and ticks are not going to eliminate the problem in most cases. The home or area where the dog lives also needs to be sprayed, or bombed, or fogged for these little pests.
For more information on fleas and ticks please visit: http://www.peteducation.com
LICE - Lice are small insects that can be seen with the naked eye on the skin. They have no wings, are small and light colored, and are egg layers (nits). A lice's life cycle is usually 21 days in length. It is also possible to see their eggs. There are several kinds of lice. Some chew on the skin and others suck blood. It takes direct contact with an infected animal to transfer lice. Lice are usually host species specific, meaning that those that infect dogs are not likely to infest humans. Symptoms include: severe itching, hair loss, a scruffy and dry coat and in sever cases anemia from blood loss. There are many effect treatments out there over the counter. These are usually pyrethrin shampoos and or dips. Remember that just treating the dog for fleas and ticks are not going to eliminate the problem in most cases. The home or area where the dog lives also needs to be sprayed, or bombed, or fogged for these little pests.