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Infectious Diseases and Parasites

Pets can be infested with external parasites and infected by internal ones. Here are some topics relevant to these agents.


Anaplasmosis
 Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease. Two forms of anaplasmosis are known: granulocytic anaplasmosis and infectious cyclic thrombocytopenia.A dog can have both infections at the same time
Aspergillosis in Dogs
 Nasal aspergillosis is the most common manifestation of the Aspergillus infection.
Babesia Infection in Dogs
 Most people have never heard of Babesia organisms though they cause red blood cell destruction in their canine hosts all over the world. Babesia organisms are spread by ticks and are of particular significance to racing greyhounds and pit bulls. Humans may also become infected.
Bacterial Diarrheas in Puppies & Kittens
 Bacterial diarrheas are generally a nuisance for the adult animal but can be lethal to a small puppy, kitten, or even a human baby. Most of these problems stem from contaminated food or fecal contaminated environment. Raw food diets for pets dramatically increase the risk of human exposure.
Bartonella and Cat Scratch Fever
 Ted Nugent made cat scratch fever (actually called cat scratch disease) nearly a household name with his song, but most people still know very little about this infection other than it involves a fever spread by cat scratches. In fact, it involves infection by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae, which is spread by fleas.
Brucellosis in Dogs
 Brucellosis is an important venereal disease in many species. It does not usually come up in pet ownership because most pet dogs are not used for breeding. Once someone has decided to breed their dog, though, it behooves them to know all about this disease, particularly since it can be transmitted to humans.
Clostridium difficile Becoming more Common in North America
 It is unclear if C. difficile can be transmitted from pets to people. The types of C. difficile found in pets are often the same as those found in people, including the epidemic strain ribotype 027/NAP1. So it makes sense that C. difficile could potentially be transmitted between people and animals, but there is still no conclusive proof.
Coccidia Infects Intestines of Cats and Dogs
 Coccidia are parasites that commonly infect young animals housed in groups. Coccidia causes a bloody diarrhea that can be severe enough to be life threatening for a small animal. It is a common infection.
Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control, 2016
 Rabies is a fatal, viral zoonotic disease and a serious public health problem. Learn the facts.
Cryptosporidium is a Particularly Nasty Type of Coccidia for Pets
 Cryptosporidium are similar to Coccidia and, until recent advances in molecular biology showed us otherwise, they were believed to be simply another species of Coccidia. They have some particularly unpleasant features.
Cuterebriasis is a Parasite Causing Skin Infections in Dogs and Cats
 Treatment (removal of the larva) is one of the simplest things in veterinary medicine; your veterinarian will probe and enlarge the breathing hole, grasp the parasite with forceps, and just pull the invader out.
Cytauxzoonosis in Cats
 Cytauxzoon felis is spread by tick bites. This condition has a very high mortality rate.
Demodectic Mange in Dogs
 This condition is also called red mange. It is not contagious, but it does have a hereditary component. What are the options for treatment?
Distemper (Panleukopenia) in Cats
 Feline distemper, caused by a parvovirus, is a life-threatening disease. The virus is considered ubiquitous, meaning it is in virtually every place that is not regularly disinfected. The infection is highly contagious among unvaccinated cats, usually kittens and young adult cats living in groups. Barn cats, feral colonies, animal shelter groups, pet stores, and rescue facilities are high risk for outbreaks.
Distemper in Dogs
 Most of us have heard of distemper infection for dogs and gather it is very bad. The basic vaccine for dogs is the distemper shot, which vaccinates against distemper, parvovirus and some minor kennel cough agents. Luckily, this is all most people ever hear of distemper.
Ear Mites in Dogs and Cats
 This annoying parasite is a common source of ear infections, especially in cats and kittens. Where do they come from? How do you get rid of them?
Ehrlichia Infection in Dogs
 Ehrlichia are a type of bacteria that infect and live within the white blood cells of their hosts. Different types of Ehrlichia live in different types of white blood cells. Hosts can be human, pet, or wild animals. They are spread from host to host by tick bites.
FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) Overview
 An overview on Feline Infectious Peritonitis, including clinical presentation, transmission, diagnosis, prevention, testing for the disease, and treatment options.
FIP: Clinical Presentation & Diagnosis
 Feline coronavirus disease is a subject of considerable controversy and confusion. Feline enteric coronaviruses usually cause only mild, self-limiting diarrheic illness in young cats. More virulent, invasive strains of feline coronavirus produce the clinical disease syndrome called feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and these virulent isolates are known as feline infectious peritonitis viruses (FIPV).
FIP: Evaluation of the Vaccine
 Dr. Fred W. Scott, of the Cornell Feline Health Center, has conducted three experiments to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the new intranasal FIP vaccine, Primucell-FIP, currently being marketed by SmithKline Beecham Animal Health (SBAH, formerly Norden Laboratories).
FIP: Laboratory Findings
 Hematologic findings are nonspecific and variable depending on the severity and progression of FIP and other concurrent problems. A neutrophilic leukocytosis and mild, normocytic, normochromic anemia are present in many cats. Severe anemia may be found in cats with concurrent FeLV infection.10 Lymphopenia (<1500/ul) is another common finding.
FIP: Pathogenesis
 Experimental studies show that FIPV is found in the tonsils and small intestinal mucosa within 24 hours of ingestion. Viral infection of the cecum, colon, mesenteric lymph nodes, and liver occurs over the next 14 days. Further systemic spread to any body organ or system occurs as the disease progresses.
FIP: References
 A listing of the references cited in the Feline Infectious Peritonitis Series by Dr. Alice Wolf.
FIP: Transmission
 FCoV is shed in the secretions and excretions of infected cats. Feces and oropharyngeal secretions are the most likely sources of infectious virus because large quantities of FCoV are shed from these sites early in the course of infection, usually before clinical signs of FIP appear. Infection is acquired from acutely infected cats by the fecal-oral, oral-oral, or oral-nasal route.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
 FIP is a serious disease with near 100% mortality, no good test, no good treatment, and no good vaccine. If your cat is an FIP suspect, we know how painful the lack of knowing can be. We hope these resources can provide facts and understanding during this difficult time.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis - what you Need to Know!
 FIP remains a daunting disease. Its pathogenesis is unclear, it can be difficult to diagnose, and it is uniformly fatal. While research has not answered all the questions, more is being learned, diagnostic tests are improving, and treatment may be on the horizon. This review offers an update on current knowledge about FIP.
Flea Anemia in Cats and Dogs
 We all know fleas are a nuisance and can lead to itching and dermatitis, but did you know a heavy flea infestation can be life threatening? The owners of most victims were not aware of the problem. Read more about this condition and who is most at risk.
Flea Control for Allergic Dogs and Cats
 For some pets, fleas are just an annoyance. But when a pet is allergic to fleas or has other types of allergic skin disease, the need to control fleas is more critical.
Fleas: Know your Enemy
 Fleas are not just a nuisance; they can kill, cause serious skin disease, and transmit infections and parasites.
Giardia in Pets
 Giardia is the genus of a protozoan parasite that is infectious to both humans and pets all over the world. Diarrhea can precede the shedding of the Giardia. Infection is more common in kennel situations where animals are housed in groups.
Heartworm Diagnosis in Dogs and Cats
 The chief issue in the diagnosis of heartworm disease centers around detecting heartworm infection.
Heartworm Disease in Dogs
 Before reviewing the clinical signs seen in heartworm disease, an important distinction must be made between heartworm disease and heartworm infection.
Heartworm Information Center: You are being redirected to updated information on this topic.
 Heartworm is a parasite that most dog owners and many cat owners have to be concerned about. The more you know, the better protected your pet can become. We have put together an information center to take you through the parasite's biology, the preventive medications, diagnosis, and treatment.
Heartworm Treatment for Dogs and Cats
 It has been said that the treatment of heartworm infection is somewhat of an art. There are several strategies that can be used including the option of not treating at all. The important concept to realize is that very harsh arsenic based drugs are necessary to kill adult heartworms and that treating for heartworm infection is neither simple nor safe in itself.
Helicobacter Infection in Dogs and Cats
 This bacterium is not new but focus on it by both the veterinary and human medical community certainly is. The role of Helicobacter in stomach ulcer formation is now well recognized. If you have a pet with chronic nausea, you may want to be familiar with this infection.
Herpes Infections in Dogs
 Canine herpes is more of a reproductive problem than a respiratory one; in fact, most infected dogs do not appear to get sick at all. Instead the infections manifests in the pregnancy as resorption of the litter of puppies, abortion, still birth, or death of puppies within a few weeks of life. Transmission occurs through direct contact (sexual contact will do it but the usual route is simply normal nosing, licking, and sniffing) between an infected and uninfected dog.
Hookworms in Cats and Dogs
 The adult hookworm lives in the small intestine of its host. It hangs on to the intestinal wall using its six sharp teeth and unlike other worms that just absorb the digested food through their skin as it passes by, the hookworm drinks its host's blood. Humans can get hookworms too.
Influenza Strains in Dogs
 Two strains of canine influenza are seen in the United States: H3N8, first seen in 2004, and H3N2, first seen in 2015.
Kennel Cough in Dogs
 Infectious tracheobronchitis, commonly known as kennel cough, is a complex of infections rather than infection by a single agent. Find out how infection occurs, how serious it may be, how it is treated, and understand the vaccination.
Leptospirosis and Your Pet: A CDC Fact Sheet
 A fact sheet from the CDC answers questions about the risk of people getting leptospirosis from their pets.
Leptospirosis in Dogs
 This infection can be caught by humans as well as by dogs. Learn about the leptospira organism, and how we test, treat and vaccinate against the disease (in dogs, that is).
Lice in Dogs and Cats
 When lice are found, it is usually in the dogs that are living in or were obtained from filthy, crowded conditions.
MRSA: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Dogs and Cats
 In dogs and cats, the most common conditions associated with MRSA tend to be skin infections, post-operative incisional infections and wound infections. The bacteria have also been isolated from the urinary tract, auditory canal, skin, eye and joints.
Malassezia Dermatitis (Yeast Infection of Dog's Skin)
 Technically known as Malessezia Dermatitis, this is one of the stinkiest and itchiest conditions treated in veterinary dermatology, and it is one of the chief reasons a previously well-controlled allergic dog might suddenly increase itching. What to do? Find some answers here.
Notoedric Mange in Cats (Feline Scabies)
 Dogs get sarcoptic mange but what do cats get? It turns out they have their very own mange mite: Notoedres cati. Notoedric mange is a rarity worldwide and many veterinary dermatologists never see a single case in their entire careers.
Parvovirus Information Center (8)
 This virus barely existed before the 1970's and in no time became a major cause of canine death. Currently, it is primarily a cause of severe illness and death for puppies and adolescent dogs and fortunately, vaccinations an effective route of prevention (if performed on the proper schedule). We invite you to browse our "Parvo Center" and review the disease, its treatment and its prevention.
Parvovirus Information Center: You are being redirected to updated information on this topic
 Our Canine Parvovirus Information Center has several articles that explain the disease, how your dog may contract it, how to prevent it, and how to care for dogs that have been infected.
Preventing Heartworm Infection in Dogs
 Heartworm preventive medications are used to periodically kill larval heartworms that have managed to gain access to the dog's body. At this point, the products available are intended for monthly use. What should you know about each one?
Pythiosis (Oomycosis, Lagenidiosis, Swamp Cancer, Bursatti, Leeches) in Dogs, Cats and Horses
 Pythiosis occurs in dogs and horses more often than in cats.
Rabies in Animals
 Descriptions of rabies go back thousands of years as rabies has classically been one of the most feared infections of all time. Rabies is a serious disease, but fortunately it can also be easily prevented in dogs and cats by proper vaccination.
Ringworm in Dogs and Cats
 Ringworm is not a worm at all but a fungal infection of the skin. It is contagious to humans, too. This FAQ provides answers.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Dogs
 Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii. This intracellular parasite is transmitted to dogs through the bite of an infected tick.
Roundworms in Cats and Kittens
 This common parasite can cause diarrhea and vomiting in cats and dogs, and some pet owners become very concerned when their pet expels a worm up to seven inches in length. Roundworms are also one of the few dog or cat parasites that can be dangerous when transmitted to humans.
Roundworms in Dogs and Puppies
 This common parasite can cause diarrhea and vomiting in cats and dogs, and some pet owners become very concerned when their pet expels a worm up to 7 inches in length. Roundworms are also one of the few dog or cat parasites that can be dangerous when transmitted to humans.
Roundworms in Humans
 This common parasite can cause diarrhea and vomiting in cats and dogs, and some pet owners become very concerned when their pet expells a worm up to 7 inches in length. Roundworms are also one of the few dog or cat parasites that can be dangerous when transmitted to humans.
Sarcoptic Mange (Scabies) in Dogs
 Also called scabies, sarcoptic mange mite infection is extremely itchy and contagious. While difficult to diagnose, this condition is usually easy to treat.
Sarcoptic Mange in Dogs
 Sarcoptic mange is a very itchy disease caused by a small mite not visible to the naked eye. Areas where the mites tend to burrow under the skin include the tips of the ears, elbows, hocks, chest and belly. However, in a severe infestation, mites can cause problems on the animal's entire body.
Shar-pei Special Needs and Cautions
 The Chinese Shar-pei, famous for its wrinkles, has gone from the rarest dog breed listed by the Guinness Book of World Records to its current status of popularity. This breed is famous for its aloof temperament and its special medical issues, still, most Shar-pei owners would not trade their breed for any less controversial one.
Taenia Species Tapeworms in Dogs and Cats
 We have generated some confusion regarding tapeworms not contracted from fleas. There actually is another tapeworm besides the common tapeworm whose segments might be seen on a pet's anal area or on their feces.
Tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum) in Dogs and Cats
 Noticing something like grains of rice that move, something that looks like sesame seeds in your pet's bedding? Where do tapeworms come from, how can you eliminate them, and why do they come back?
Tick Paralysis in Pets
 Tick paralysis is caused by neurotoxins secreted in saliva by certain species of female ticks. Death can occur in untreated dogs from paralysis of the respiratory muscles.
Ticks Are Arthropod Parasites for Mammals
 Ticks are skin parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts. Ticks like motion, warm temperatures from body heat, and the carbon dioxide exhaled by mammals, which is why they are attracted to such hosts as dogs, cats, rodents, rabbits, cattle, small mammals, etc. The bite itself is not usually painful, but the parasite can transmit diseases and cause tick paralysis.
Toxoplasmosis in Cats
 Although it is possible to get Toxoplasmosis from cats, no correlation has been found between cat ownership and Toxoplasma infection. There is, however, a very strong association between Toxoplasma infection and working with raw meat as in a slaughterhouse or as a butcher. Be careful handling raw meat.
Tritrichomonas Infection Causes Diarrhea in Cats
 Kittens and cats living in groups have an assortment of infectious diseases to contend with. Tritrichomonas foetus is yet another infectious organism yielding diarrhea in feline patients, usually with a history of group lifestyle.
Upper Respiratory Infection in Cats
 Does your cat sneeze, have runny eyes, and a runny nose? A cold for a cat is usually just a nuisance as a cold usually is for one of us. Sometimes, though, an upper respiratory infection can be serious.
Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) in Dogs and Cats
 The fungus lives only in one area: the Lower Sonoran life zone. An animal or person who is sick is not contagious; infection is only through inhalation of a fungal spore released from dirt but only a few spores are necessary for infection to occur.
Viral Papillomas of Dogs
 Most everyone knows that dogs get warts, but did you know that some of these warts are infectious? Find out what they are and how to deal with them.
Whipworm Infection in Dogs and Cats
 The whipworm of dogs is substantially smaller than the other worms (a mere 30-50 mm in length, about a half inch maximum). The "head" (or more accurately the digestive end of the worm) is skinny vs. its stout tail (or reproductive end) which gives the worm a whip shape, hence the name.

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