Articles

Infectious Diseases

  • This handout discusses aspergillosis in dogs, an infection, growth, or allergic response caused by the Aspergillus fungus. If your dog becomes infected, it can be confined to the nasal passages (nasal aspergillosis), or it can spread throughout the body (systemic aspergillosis). The clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of both conditions are outlined.

  • Atovaquone is given by mouth and is used off-label to treat protozoal infections. Give as directed. Side effects are uncommon but may include stomach upset or skin rash. Do not use in pets that are pregnant. If a negative reaction occurs, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Feeding raw food to cats is potentially dangerous to both your cat and to you, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA. With nearly 25% of the raw food samples testing positive for harmful bacteria, the health risks for cats who eat the raw food, as well as for the cat owners who handle the food while preparing it, are real. It is reasonable to conclude that a commercially prepared, conventional, complete and life-stage balanced ration is a better choice.

  • Babesiosis is a tick-borne infection due to Babesia protozoal parasites. The disease primarily spreads through an infected tick's bite, but direct animal-to-animal transmission may also occur. Dogs typically present with the acute and severe form of babesiosis, characterized by abnormal dark urine, fever, weakness, pale mucous membranes, depression, swollen lymph nodes, and an enlarged spleen. The disease can be transmitted to humans through a tick bite.

  • Bacterial pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung, usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection, but can be caused by inhalation of an irritant. Typical signs of bacterial pneumonia include fever, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and coughing. As these can also be caused by other diseases, diagnostics include a full physical exam, blood work, and radiographs, and may also require bronchoscopy or tracheal lavage to collect samples for cytology and bacterial culture and sensitivity. Treatment includes the use of one or more antibiotics that ideally would be selected using the results of a culture. Affected dogs may also require hospitalization and supportive care including intravenous fluids. The prognosis depends on the severity of the disease and whether there are any predisposing factors.

  • If they are well looked after, including proper diet and husbandry, bearded dragons are reasonably hardy animals. Common health conditions of pet bearded dragons include CANV, atadenovirus, metabolic bone disease, parasites, infectious stomatitis (mouth rot), and respiratory infections. Any change from normal is cause for concern and should be immediately evaluated by your veterinarian.

  • Dogs appear to be more susceptible to blastomycosis than many other species. The blastomycosis fungus seems to target the respiratory tract, although it may spread throughout the entire body. Cytology and/or histopathology are required to diagnose blastomycosis conclusively. Itraconazole is the preferred drug of treatment for most dogs. Prognosis is good for many cases of blastomycosis infection with recovery rates between 50-75%.

  • Cats are exposed to botulism by eating raw meat or dead animals containing botulinum toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Botulism causes ascending paralysis of the nervous system. Clinical signs are reviewed as well as diagnostic tests and treatment. Prognosis is guarded depending on the amount of toxin ingested and the degree of supportive care available. There is no vaccine.

  • Dogs are exposed to botulism by eating raw meat or dead animals containing botulinum toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Botulism causes ascending paralysis of the nervous system. Clinical signs are reviewed as well as diagnostic tests and treatment. Prognosis is guarded depending on the amount of toxin ingested and the degree of supportive care available. There is no vaccine.

  • Brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection that can cause a number of reproductive problems, including infertility and abortion in breeding dogs. Male dogs infected with brucellosis develop epididymitis, an infection of the testicle. Female dogs infected with brucellosis develop an infection of the uterus. The infection is usually diagnosed by a blood test (rapid slide agglutination test). Treatment with antibiotics is not significantly effective and infected dogs should be removed from the breeding population. In the United States, brucellosis is a reportable disease.

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