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Parasites

  • There are many species of lungworm that can cause respiratory problems in dogs. Infection is acquired through either: ingestion of an intermediate host such as snails or slugs, ingestion of animals that have been infected by eating these animals or depending on the species, from an infected dog by contact with saliva, nasal discharge, or contaminated food and water bowls. Lungworms can be found throughout North America and the world with certain species seen in certain areas. Clincal signs can range from asymptomatic to tachypnea, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, respiratory distress or exercise intolerance. The degree of clinical signs is usually proportional to the strength of the dog’s immune system. Diagnosis involves history, physical exam, x-rays and organism identification through either baermann fecal examination or BAL/bronchoscopy. Treatment involves use of specific antiparasitic drugs for various lengths of time depending on type and severity of infection. Prognosis is good but re-infection can occur.

  • The bacterium that causes Lyme disease can be transmitted to dogs through the bite of an infected tick, most commonly the deer tick (black-legged tick), which is found in the midwestern and eastern United States and throughout Canada. The disease typically causes pain and swelling in the affected dog's joints along with decreased appetite and fever. The kidneys are sometimes affected, in which case the disease is often fatal. Diagnostic testing, treatment, and ways to prevent Lyme disease in your dog, including instructions for tick removal, are explained in this handout.

  • Metronidazole is given by mouth or injection and is used off-label to treat certain anaerobic bacterial and protozoal infections and gastrointestinal conditions in dogs, cats, and other animals. Give as directed. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, regurgitation, decreased appetite, tiredness, and drooling. Do not use in pets that are allergic to it, are debilitated, or are pregnant or nursing. If a negative reaction occurs, contact your veterinarian.

  • Moxidectin and fluralaner are combined in one topical treatment for use in cats. Moxidectin topical is an avermectin antiparasitic that is used to prevent heartworms and treat intestinal parasites (hookworms and roundworms). Fluralaner is used to treat and prevent fleas and also kills black-legged ticks (deer ticks). Give as directed. Side effects are uncommon but may include hair loss at the application site, itching, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive drooling, and dry skin. Moxidectin + fluralaner should not be used in pets that are hypersensitive or allergic to it. Do not use this medication in sick, debilitated, or underweight cats. Use caution in cats with known neurologic disorders. If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

  • Moxidectin is an avermectin antiparasitic that is used to prevent heartworms and treat intestinal parasites. Imidacloprid treats and prevents fleas. These two drugs are combined in one topical product for use in cats, dogs, and ferrets. Use as directed. Side effects are uncommon and usually short-lived, however, if you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately.

  • The American Animal Hospital Association and American Veterinary Medical Association have established guidelines to standardize preventive health care for cats, helping them to live longer, healthier lives. This handout provides an overview of the recommendations within these guidelines and why they are so important.

  • The American Animal Hospital Association and American Veterinary Medical Association have established guidelines to standardize preventive health care for dogs, helping them to live longer, healthier lives. This handout provides an overview of the recommendations within these guidelines and why they are so important.

  • 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.

  • Ringworm infections in cats are caused by a fungus, not a worm. They can be easily recognized, though definitive testing by fungal culture is recommended. Ringworm is highly contagious and can be spread between animals and from animals to people. The clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and risks are explained in this handout.

  • 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.