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What are Coccidia?

coccidiosis

What is coccidiosis?

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.”

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. Most infections are not associated with any detectable clinical signs. These  infections are called sub-clinical infections. The species Isospora canis  causes most clinical infections in dogs. Cryptosporidium parvum is another coccidian parasite that may cause diarrhea in some puppies.

 

canine coccidiosis   2009 Coccidia

How did my dog become infected with coccidia?

An infected dog passes oocysts (immature coccidia) in the feces. These oocysts are very resistant to a wide variety of environmental conditions and can survive for some time on the ground. Under the right conditions of temperature and humidity, these oocysts “sporulate” or become infective. If a susceptible dog ingests the sporulated oocysts, the oocysts will release  “sporozoites” that invade the intestinal lining cells and set up a cycle of infection in neighboring cells. Dogs may also be indirectly infected by eating a mouse that is infected with coccidia.

What kinds of problems are caused by coccidiosis?

Most dogs that are infected with coccidia do not have diarrhea or other clinical signs. When the coccidial oocysts are found in the stool of a dog without diarrhea, they are generally considered a transient, insignificant finding.

“In puppies and debilitated adult dogs, coccidiosis may cause severe, watery diarrhea, dehydration, abdominal distress, and vomiting.”

However, in puppies and debilitated adult dogs, coccidiosis may cause severe, watery diarrhea, dehydration, abdominal distress, and vomiting. In severe  cases, death may occur.

How is coccidiosis diagnosed?

Coccidiosis is diagnosed by performing a microscopic examination of a stool sample. Since the oocysts are much smaller than the eggs of intestinal worms, a careful fecal evaluation must be made. Infection with some of the less common coccidial parasites is diagnosed with a blood test.

How is the coccidial infection treated?

The most common drug used to eliminate coccidia is a sulfa-type
antibiotic. It is usually given for ten to fourteen days. In severe infections, it may be necessary to repeat the treatment. Other drugs may be required if diarrhea and dehydration occur. If the sulfa-type drug is not effective, other treatments are available. Re-infection of susceptible dogs is common so environmental disinfection is important. The use of diluted chlorine bleach [one cup (250 ml) of bleach mixed in one gallon (3.8 L) of water] is effective if the surfaces and premises
can be safely treated with it.

Are the coccidial parasites of my dog infectious to humans?coccidiosis Coccidia

“The most common coccidia found in dogs do not have any affect on humans.”

The most common coccidia found in dogs do not have any affect on humans. However, less common types of coccidia are potentially  infectious to humans. One parasite, called Cryptosporidium, may be carried by dogs or cats and may be transmitted to people. This parasite has also been found in the public water supply of some major cites. It poses a health risk for immunosuppressed humans such as AIDS patients, those taking immune suppressing drugs, cancer patients, or the
elderly.

Good hygiene and proper disposal of dog feces are important
in minimizing risk of transmission of all canine parasites to humans, or to other animals.

This client information sheet is based on material written by: Ernest Ward, DVM© Copyright 2009 Lifelearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

Hookworms

hookworm teethHookworms are a very common intestinal parasite of dogs. They get their nickname from the hook-like mouth parts (teeth) that they use to anchor themselves to the wall of the intestinal tract.  Once they have attached, they feed on the blood of their host. Hookworms are very small and are difficult to see with the naked eye, but the damage and the amount of blood they consume can be massive. Large numbers of hookworms in young puppies can cause severe anemia from the blood loss and many puppies can die without a blood transfusion.

Dogs can get hookworms many different ways. Young puppies can be infected while still in their mother’s womb directly through the placenta as well as through the milk when nursing. Because of this early infection, puppies should be de-wormed when they are just 2 weeks old and repeated every 2 weeks for the first few months of their lives. Monthly de-worming is recommended as a regular prevention.

 

 

Adult dogs can become infected by walking through contaminated soil where active larvae hatched from eggs deposited in fecal matter can penetrate directly through the pads of their feet. Once the larvae enter the skin, they then migrate through the body until they reach the lungs, at which time they are coughed up and swallowed. While the hookworms are migrating through the body, many can encyst in the muscle and lay dormant for many years. These are the source of hookworms that infect puppies while in the womb. After the hookworms are swallowed, they reach the intestinal tract and latch on to the wall of the intestine and start feeding on blood. The adult worms also mate and lay thousands of eggs that are passed in the feces. The eggs hatch into
larvae in moist warm environments which start the life cycle again. 11. Ancylostoma adults Hookworms

Humans can also become infected if walking barefoot through contaminated areas, however, the hookworms cannot complete their life cycle, but do cause a localized dermatitis where they penetrate the skin and can cause other problems while trying to migrate through the body.
Some people can have allergic reactions to the migrating worms.

Dogs can also be infected by ingesting the larvae, either by cleaning their feet or fur, or when drinking water or licking contaminated surfaces.

 

Because of the prevalence of hookworms in dogs, many veterinarians and the CDC (Centers of Disease Control) recommend routine de-worming with anthelmintics. Several of the newer flea and heartworm preventatives also include ingredients to remove hookworms and other parasites as well. Your puppy should be tested for hookworms as soon as your get him and follow your veterinarians recommendations for maintenance. Breeders should have the mother dog and young puppies dewormed every 2 weeks. Anthelmintics do not affect the dormant hookworms in the muscle.  Studies have shown that these hookworms can release during gestation and infect the puppies for up to seven
consecutive litters.

Signs of hookworm infection can include pale gums, a dark ,tarry stool, diarrhea, weight loss and failure to thrive.  Older dogs can develop diarrhea or dark, tarry stools.

You can limit the amount of hookworms deposited in your yard by cleaning up the fecal material and disposing of it. Fecal waste from dogs should not be used in compost bins, but there are special compost bins to handle the waste.

Preparing your Home for your new Puppy

While excitement and anticipation may perhaps be in the top of the list when bringing home a brand new puppy, getting ready for him need to rate very on the list. Just as you would want to get ready a house once you have a infant, puppy owners equally have to have to consider particular precautions when “puppy-proofing.”

Before you start getting ready your home for a new puppy, you must be aware of the backyard and garden. To begin with, examine fences and gates to be positive there are no holes big enough for the pup to get his head trapped in or to slip out and get lost. Search for litter and/or trash cans, which can be tipped over, giving your new puppy the opportunity to devour garbage that he shouldn’t. And finally, know exactly where you might be treating your lawn or garden with harmful pesticides and herbicides, then forbid your puppy from going there. Also, ensure that that all chemical compounds and other dangerous products are put away out of your new friend’s reach.

Next, you will need to pretend that a little toddler is going to dwell with you! Like small children, young puppies will find everything new and thrilling. They do not recognize when some thing is dangerous or cannot tell if that “interesting” wii controller can get them into trouble. Anything left on the floor is fair game to a puppy.

Also, when preparing your home for the new puppy, you ought to keep these tips in mind:

• Be sure all electrical and cable wires are either inside an area your pup is not going to be or hide them under rugs or carpets.There are also cable covers that work to protect your cords. Don’t keep electrical wires where your puppy could chew and gnaw on them.

• Just like a young child, your puppy will probably investigate each and every element, such as low cabinets. Just when you imagined having a puppy was easier when compared to a kid, he will learn to push those kitchen cabinet doors open! Think about adding locks or sort through the cabinets and only keep harmless things in low places.

So far, so good, right? Well, that is only in the event you remember that in reality your puppy has the intellect of a small kid. Quickly you will be getting ready for afternoon walks to the playground, 3 a.m. journeys to the potty, (more officially, outdoors) and a lot of cuddling. So, even though making ready your home for the new puppy, think about him as being a member of your family. Get him a bed made from plastic, which is more resistant to chewing. Line it with comfortable bedding-washable of course-and then place it inside a special place just for him, such as an airline crate. Make sure it truly is someplace he will be protected and comfy.

Getting ready your house for the new puppy is a lot of work, which means you may well consider purchasing a puppy pen or kennel till everything is taken care of. Just like a baby’s playpen, a puppy pen will give an spot for him to play without wandering the house. By carrying out this, you are also protecting your furniture as well as other items from getting chewed on. (Really don’t worry-he’ll eventually grow out of this!)

An additional vital thing to consider when preparing your home for the young puppy is any stairs which you may have in the home. Should you have an open basement or second floor, use child gates to confine his run area to prevent harm. Babies and puppies alike aren’t aware of peril and do not know that they could fall down steps and hurt themselves.

Before you take your puppy to your house, you may want to schedule an exam and parasite check with your veterinarian. Most puppies are infected with worms through the placenta while still in their mother’s womb. Your veterinarian will test for parasites and give a dewormer to treat your pet. Your pet’s feces contains thousands of parasite eggs that can re-infect your pup and may infect your family, so frequent de-worming and stool pick-up is neccessary to lower the worm burden in your backyard.

One of the most crucial points to consider while preparing your home for the new puppy is that your puppy is just like a kid, they may want snuggling, attention and there will unquestionably be lots of wet kisses!

Kitten Calendars On Sale Now


Whether perched on a stone wall or inspecting yet another flower, these busy little felines are captured exploring the garden from sunrise to sunset. Ready to pounce and play each month, this irresistible collection of kittens will warm your heart all year long. A great way to start your day is to see a cute kitten on your daily calendar.

Kittens 2012 Wall Calendar

Very Cute Puppy Calendars


Full of innocence and wonder, puppies are a joy to hold. Puppies are wonderful friends that lift our spirits daily.What could be more irresistible than sleeping puppies? Hundreds of them!! This daily calendar is perfect for dog lovers everywhere.

Puppy calendars

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