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DISEASE IN DOGS

 

CANINE DISTEMPER

This is a viral illness that has no cure and is zoonotic (can be transmitted to humans).

Affects

It affects dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and central nervous systems, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eye.

Symptoms

The first signs of canine distemper include sneezing, coughing and thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose. Fever, lethargy, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, depression and/or loss of appetite are also symptoms of the virus.

Transmission

The virus is passed from dog to dog through direct contact with fresh urine, blood or saliva. Sneezing, coughing and sharing food and water bowls are all possible ways for the virus to be passed on.

Incubation Period

The incubation period is 7 days.

Treatment

Seek veterinary advise immediately.  The virus spreads rapidly and must be aggressively treated as soon as possible. Veterinarians can offer intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and antibiotics to ward off secondary infections while the infected dog builds up his immune response. Some dogs are able to survive the infection, while for others canine distemper can be fatal.

Prevention

Make sure your dog has completed his series of vaccinations. The vaccine for dogs is called the distemper shot. If you have a puppy, make sure he gets his first vaccination at six to eight weeks of age. Be sure to keep him away from any possibly infectious dogs or environments until he’s finished with his vaccinations at four or five months old.  Also, routine cleaning and disinfecting your home (or kennel) will ensure that the virus is not in your dog’s living environment.

 

INFECTIOUS CANINE HEPATITIS

This is a viral illness and is zoonotic.

Affects

This viral illness causes an acute liver infection in dogs.  Death can occur secondary to this or the liver disease. However, most dogs recover after a brief illness, although chronic corneal edema and kidney lesions may persist.

Symptoms

Symptoms include fever, depression, loss of appetite, coughing, and a tender abdomen. Corneal edema and signs of liver disease, such as jaundice, vomiting, decline in brain function, may also occur. Severe cases will develop bleeding disorders, which can cause hematomas to form in the mouth.

Transmission

The virus is spread in the faeces, urine, blood, saliva, and nasal discharge of infected dogs.  It is contracted through the mouth or nose, where it replicates in the tonsils.

 Incubation Period

The incubation period is 4 to 7 days.

Treatment

Treatment is symptomatic. Most dogs recover spontaneously without treatment.

Prevention

Prevention is through vaccination and various combination vaccines.  It is destroyed in the environment by steam cleaning and quaternary ammonium compounds. Otherwise, the virus can survive in the environment for months in the right conditions. It can also be released in the urine of a recovered dog for up to a year.

 

LEPTOSPIROSIS

Is an infection caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Leptospira which infiltrate the system by burrowing into the skin. This is zoonotic.

Affects

If affects the entire body, reproducing in the liver, kidneys, central nervous system, eyes, and reproductive system.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms include, sudden fever, sore/stiffness in muscles, shivering, weakness, depression, lack of appetite, increased thirst and urination, rapid dehydration, vomiting possible with blood, diarrhea, bloody vaginal discharge, dark red speckled gums, yellow skin/whites of eyes, spontaneous cough, difficulty breathing, runny nose, swelling of mucous membrane, mild swelling of lymph nodes.

Transmission

It is often transmitted by animal urine or by water or soil containing animal urine coming into contact with breaks in the skin, eyes, mouth, or nose. In the developing world the disease most commonly occurs in farmers and poor people who live in cities. In the developed world it most commonly occurs in those involved in outdoor activities in warm and wet areas of the world.

Incubation Period

The incubation period (from infection to onset of clinical signs) is usually four to twelve days.

Treatment

Dogs with the disease should be hospitalised.  Fluid therapy will be the primary treatment, in order to reverse the affects of dehydration.  If the dog has been vomiting, an anti-vomiting drug will be given.  A blood transfusion may also be necessary if the dog has been severely hemorrhaging.  Antibiotics will be prescribed to be able to reach the bones or penicillin if infection.

 Prevention

A vaccination for the prevention of the disease.  Efforts to prevent the disease include protective equipment to prevent contact when working with potentially infected animals, washing after this contact, and reducing rodents in areas people live and work.

 

CANINE PARVOVIRUS

Is a viral disease.  This is anthraponosis.

Affects

Parvo is highly contagious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with theirfeces. Vaccines can prevent this infection, but mortality can reach 91% in untreated cases. Treatment often involves veterinary hospitalization. Canine parvovirus may infect other mammals; however, it will not infect humans.

Symptoms

The signs may include lethargy, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea (usually bloody). Generally, the first sign of CPV is lethargy. Secondary signs are a loss of appetite or diarrhea followed by vomiting. Diarrhea and vomiting result in dehydration that upsets the electrolyte balance and this may affect the dog critically. Secondary infections occur as a result of the weakened immune system. Because the normal intestinal lining is also compromised, blood and protein leak into the intestines leading to anemia and loss of protein, and endotoxins escaping into the bloodstream, causing endotoxemia. Dogs have a distinctive odor in the later stages of the infection. The white blood cell level falls, further weakening the dog. Any or all of these factors can lead to shock and death.

Transmission

The virus is transmitted either by direct contact with an infected dog, or indirectly by fecal-oral route.  I the healthy dog sniffs an infected dogs stool they will contract the disease.

Incubation Period

Dogs that develop the disease show signs of the illness within 3 to 7 days.

Treatment

Survival rate depends on how quickly CPV is diagnosed, the age of the dog and how aggressive the treatment is. Treatment usually involves extensive hospitalization, due to the severe dehydration and damage to the intestines and bone marrow. A CPV test should be given as early as possible if CPV is suspected in order to begin early treatment and increase survival rate if the disease is found.

Treatment is focused on curing the symptoms and preventing secondary bacterial infections, preferably in a hospital environment. Intensive therapy and system support are the key to recovery. Intravenous fluid and nutrition therapy is crucial in maintaining a dog’s normal body fluid after severe diarrhea and dehydration, and protein and electrolyte levels will be monitored and regulated as necessary. Medications that may be used in the treatment include drugs to curb vomiting

Prevention

Prevention is the only way to ensure the dog remains healthy because the disease is extremely contagious. Appropriate vaccination should be performed starting at 7-8 weeks of age, with a booster given every 3–4 weeks until at least 16 weeks of age. Likewise, pregnant mothers should not be vaccinated as it will abort the puppies and could make the mother extremely sick. The virus is extremely hardy and has been found to survive in feces and other organic material such as soil for over 10 years. It survives extremely low and high temperatures. The only household disinfectant that kills the virus is bleach. The dilute bleach solution needs to be a (1:10 ratio) to disinfect and kill parvovirus.

 

INFECTIOUS CAININE TRACHEOBRONCHITIS

Also known as kennel cough is a virus is zoonotic.

Affects

Is an upper respiratory infection affecting dogs and is typified by inflammation of the trachea and bronchi.  Viral and bacterial causes of canine cough are spread through airborne droplets produced by sneezing and coughing. These agents also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. Symptoms begin after a several day incubation period post-exposure, and in most cases will clear up on their own.

Symptoms

Symptoms can include a harsh, dry cough, retching, sneezing, snorting, gagging or vomiting in response to light pressing of the trachea or after excitement or exercise. The presence of a fever varies from case to case

Incubation Period

Theincubation period is 5–7 days.

Transmission

This is an airborne disease that is transmitted when an infected dog coughs.  The bacteria and virus can survive on tiny dust particles and dander.  If an infected dog drinks from a watering dish or urinates and another dog comes in contact with these objects he could easily catch the disease.  Even direct contact with an infected dog will transmit the disease.  An infected dog needs to be isolated.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the severity of the infection. If your dog is alert, active, eating well, and has only minor symptoms, your veterinarian may only prescribe general supportive care like rest and good hydration and nutrition. More severely affected dogs benefit from medications that reduce inflammation and coughing. If a bacterial infection is present, antibiotics may help shorten the course of the disease. Dogs with pneumonia often need to be hospitalized for more aggressive treatment.

Prevention

In kennels, the best prevention is to keep all the cages disinfected. In some cases, such as "doggie daycares" or nontraditional playcare-type boarding environments, it is usually not a cleaning or disinfecting issue, but rather an airborne issue, as the dogs are in contact with each other's saliva and breath. Although most kennels require proof of vaccination, the vaccination is not a fail-safe preventative. Just like human influenza, even after receiving the vaccination, a dog can still contract mutated strains or less severe cases.

 

RABIES

Rabies is a viral disease and is zoonotic.

Affects

It causes acute inflammation of the brain in dogs and other

Symptoms

Initial signs and symptoms of rabies are often nonspecific such as fever and headache. As rabies progresses and causes inflammation of the brain and/or meninges, signs and symptoms can include slight or partial paralysis, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, agitation, abnormal behavior, paranoia, terror, and hallucinations, progressing to delirium and coma. The person may also have hydrophobia.  Death usually occurs 2 to 10 days after first symptoms. Survival is rare once symptoms have presented

Incubation Period

The virus is relatively slow moving and the average time of incubation from exposure to brain involvement is between 3 and 8 weeks.  However incubation periods as long as 6 months in dogs and 12 months in people have been reported.

Transmission

Rabies is spread when an infected animal scratches or bites another animal or human. Saliva from an infected animal can also transmit rabies if the saliva comes into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose.  Globally, dogs are the most common animal involved but skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats are most likely to transmit the disease.

Treatment

Treatment after exposure can prevent the disease if administered promptly, generally within 10 days of infection. Thoroughly washing the wound as soon as possible with soap and water for approximately five minutes is effective in reducing the number of viral particles. Povidone-iodine or alcohol is then recommended to reduce the virus further.

Prevention

Vaccination is the best way to prevent infection and properly vaccinated animals stand very little chance of contracting the disease.

 

LYME DISEASE

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the Borrelia type and is zoonotic.

Affects

Lyme disease is one of the most common tick transmitted diseases. When infection leads to disease in dogs, the dominant clinical feature is recurrent lameness due to inflammation of the joints. There may also be a lack of appetite and depression. More serious complications include damage to the kidneys, and rarely, heart or nervous system disease.

Symptoms

The most common sign of infection is an expanding area of redness, known as erythema migrans, that begins at the site of a tick bite about a week after it has occurred. The rash is typically neither itchy nor painful. Other early symptoms may include fever, headache and feeling tired. If untreated, symptoms may include loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, stiff walk with arched back, or heart palpitations, among others.

Incubation Period

Usually, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours before the bacteria can spread.

Transmission

Lyme disease is transmitted to dogs by the bite of infected ticks. Usually, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours before the bacteria can spread.

Treatment

Antibiotics are the primary treatment with a recommended treatment length of four weeks

Prevention

If possible, avoid allowing your dog to roam in tick infested environments where Lyme disease is common  Check your dog’s coat and skin daily and remove ticks when found.  There are sprays, collars, and spot on treatments available.

  

 

 

 

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