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Dogs + Zoonosis & Human Health

  • COVID-19 is a disease caused by the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Current evidence suggests that person-to-person spread is the main source of infection. While there is evidence of transmission from humans to dogs and cats, it does not appear to be a common event at this time. If you suspect that you are ill with COVID-19, you should practice the same precautions with your pet as you would with people: wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands regularly, and avoid cuddling and other close contact. If your pet needs veterinary care while you are sick with COVID-19, do not take your pet to your veterinary clinic yourself.

  • Echinococcus multilocularis is a tapeworm species that is found in the Northern Hemisphere. Dogs, cats, and humans are all susceptible to infection by E. multilocularis, along with additional species. While the parasite typically produces no clinical sign in cats, it can have life-threatening effects in humans. E. multilocularis is impossible to distinguish from other tapeworm species without specialized testing, but it responds to the same dewormers that are used to treat other tapeworm species. Therefore, pets suspected of having tapeworms should be treated promptly and care should be taken to avoid direct contact with animal feces.

  • Lyme Disease in Dogs

    La enfermedad de Lyme está causada por una espiroqueta, Borrelia burgdorferi. Una espiroqueta es un tipo de bacteria. La enfermedad de Lyme se transmite a los perros a través de la picadura de una garrapata. Una vez en el torrente sanguíneo, el organismo de la enfermedad de Lyme será transportado a diferentes partes del cuerpo y puede llegar a las articulaciones. Antes se pensaba que sólo un tipo concreto de garrapatas podían transmitir la enfermedad, pero ahora parece ser que muchos tipos de especies están implicadas. El tipo más común de garrapata portadora de la enfermedad de Lyme es la garrapata ciervo.

  • Giardiasis is an intestinal infection caused by a microscopic protozoan. These parasites attach themselves to the intestinal wall, and the damage causes an acute, sudden onset of foul-smelling diarrhea. Diagnosis may be by routine fecal flotation or presumptively based on clinical signs. Fenbendazole and metronidazole are the drugs most commonly used to treat giardiasis.

  • Hookworm is a parasitic infection of the gastrointestinal tract of dogs. Their name is derived from the hook-like mouthparts they use to anchor themselves to the lining of the intestinal wall. How the infection is spread along with clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention are covered in this handout.

  • Vaccinations are important to prevent serious illness in dogs. Even dogs that spend 100% of their time indoors should be vaccinated. Some viruses can be carried into your home on inanimate objects such as shoes and clothing, therefore infecting your dog without him coming into contact with another animal. Rabies is deadly for both dogs and humans and can be transmitted by a rabid bat that makes its way into your home. Your veterinarian is your most important resource in determining what vaccinations need to be given to your dog to keep him protected.

  • This handout outlines internal parasites in dogs. Included are parasites of the gastrointestinal tract (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms), as well as parasites of the circulatory system (heartworm). How each of these parasites can affect your dog and what you can do to prevent or treat infection are all explained.

  • Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by a protozoan parasite transmitted by sandflies and is most commonly seen in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and South and Central America. It has been reported in some parts of the United States. Clinical signs include hard skin nodules, weakness, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and more. Diagnosis is based on travel history, clinical signs, and diagnostic testing. The goal of treatment is to resolve clinical signs. Prognosis is guarded to grave depending on the severity of the disease.

  • Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of dogs and other mammals that primarily affects the liver or kidneys. The bacteria (Leptospira) that cause leptospirosis thrive in water. Infected or recovered carrier dogs may act as a source of the infection. Antibiotics such as penicillin, ampicillin, and amoxicillin, are reasonably effective against the acute stages of leptospirosis if started early, although most affected dogs require intensive care in the veterinary hospital. This disease can be transmitted to humans.

  • 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.

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