Parasites And Diseases
Tick born disease. Can also be transmitted via blood transfusion. Symptoms vary widely, but most frequently are weight loss and lethargy.
Dog World, 7/1995, page 38, "Ehrlichiosis: a tick-borne menace."
BlastomycosisInternal fungal infection more common in the hunting and sporting breeds. Typically, active spoors are inhaled from the soil and the lungs become the conduit for this fungus. Mastiffs being a large breed with a large lung capacity the earliest sign of "Blasto" (coughing, conjestion) often goes noticed. Once inside the body, the internal heat makes an ideal breeding ground for the fungus.
Early detection is the key. Enlarged or inflamed joints or organs, lesions or enlarged lymph nodes, and loss of appetite. In males (usually intact) it first shows up with all the symptoms of a prostate infection (low grade fever, tender slighty swollen prostate gland) so it is easily mis-diagnosed. All of these signs can of course be symptoms of other diseases, but blood tests and/or fungal titers can be done for diagnostic purposes. Chest x-rays are also key diagnostic tools.
This is a very expensive disease (especially for large breed dogs, because medicine doses are based on body weight) with a cost of $1200 a month to treat, without including vet care. Diagnosed in the early stages it has an 80% recovery rate in most healthy dogs. The treatment is also very lengthy (sometimes up to 5 months).
AKC Gazette, 1/1995, page 42, "The Good Earth: a natural mineral prodcut that can be used to fight fleas." Canine News, 3/1995, page 5, "Program - the new flea control medication." AKC Gazette, 4/1995, page 35, "New weapon against fleas."
Parasitic protozoa which can cause severe diarrhea. The latest remedies in dogs are albendazole and fenbendazole (both are wormers). Note that albendazole is not recommended for pregnant animals. One article suggests that 100% of kennel dogs, 50% of pups and 10% of well-cared for dogs carry giardia. It does point out that while people get giardia it is a different giardia and that it is unlikely that people can get giardia from their pets but caution is advised.
The following are recommendations from the July 1995 Cornell Animal Health Newsletter for eliminating giardia from kennels:
- treat all non-pregnant dogs with fenbendazole for 5 days - disinfect kennel areas, etc., with quaternary ammonium disinfectants which are effective in inactivating giardia cysts (takes about a minute at room temperatures) - bath dogs with shampoo to remove all fecal matter, rinse with water - rinse dogs with quaternary ammonium disinfectants, then water - allow kennels to dry thoroughly for several days - retreat with fenbendazole for 5 days - treat any new dogs with fenbendazole for 5 days even if they test negative for giardia because it is so hard to detect in fecal tests
Canine News, 12/1993, page 9, "Giardia - Be Aware." AKC Gazette, 2/1994, page 36, "More Effective Treatment for Giardia." Cornell Animal Health Newsletter, 6/1994, page 2, "Giardiasis: the cure." Dog World, 3/1995, page 10, "Giardia cycles can be broken." Cornell Animal Health Newsletter, 5/1995, page 2, "Found: a better drug." Cornell Animal Health Newsletter, 7/1995, page 2, "Taking the alarming news about Giardia in stride."
Dog World, 6/1994, page 48, "Getting to the heart of the matter." AKC Gazette, 7/1995, page 56, "A dose of ivermectin." Cornell Animal Health Newsletter, 2/1995, page 3, "Heartworm disease and its consequences in dogs and cats."
Transmitted by eating an affected animal such as a flea, mouse, etc.
Canine News, 1/1994, page 1, "Tapeworm Treatments - How Good Are They?"
WhipwormSymptoms can include loose and/or bloody stools. Transmitted by swallowing grass or dirt in an infected area.
Canine News, 6/1994, page 7, "A Common Internal Parasite."
Dog World, 6/1994, page 32, "Biting Back At Fleas And Ticks." AKC Gazette, 6/1994, page 34, "New Method Of Flea Control." Canine News, 3/1994, page 6, "Culture and Sensitivity - Which Medication To Use."