One of A Kind Education
Coccidia, Giardia, and Worms, Oh My!
There is so much to learn when adopting a new dog into your home. We try to go over as much as we can during the adoption process, but it is impossible to cover everything, especially where health and well-being are concerned. Most dog owners are aware of the annual vaccinations such as Rabies, Distemper, Parvo, but many are not aware of illnesses and parasites that our dogs can contract that are not protected by vaccines? Coccidia, Giardia, and worms are just a few of the parasites that are common and found near all of us.
Coccidia is a single-celled organism that infects the intestinal tract of our dogs and puppies. They become infected with coccidia by ingesting it from the ground soil and/or feces of other dogs. The symptoms usually include diarrhea but can be accompanied by vomiting in puppies and elderly dogs. The veterinarian will conduct fecal testing to determine the diagnosis. Once it is confirmed, the vet will prescribe an antibiotic to treat the condition. If dehydration has occurred, your dog may require IV fluids as well. Coccidia is not transmitted to humans.
Giardia is another parasite similar to Coccidia. It also causes diarrhea and can lead to bloody stool and dehydration. Unlike Coccidia, Giardia is spread to humans as well. Humans can actually contract Giardia by consuming untreated water from lakes, streams, etc. Upon diagnosis, Giardia is also treated with an antibiotic.
Roundworms, Hookworms, Tapeworms, Whipworms, and Heartworms are the most common types of worms that can infect our dogs. They pick these up by ingesting soil, feces, water, or flesh that contain the eggs or larvae. Heartworms are the most serious and are transmitted by mosquitos. Fortunately, heartworms are easily prevented by giving your dog an oral heartworm prevention supplied by your vet. The other worms are all confirmed by fecal samples and treated easily with oral medications. The key is to diagnose and treat the worms early before they cause anemia in our dogs.
The common thread among all these ailments is that they are quickly and commonly spread by dogs in dog parks and designated areas for dogs to do their business. Any area where dogs are frequently going potty is likely to be infected with the above parasites. Unfortunately, dog droppings are not always immediately picked up, making the areas more susceptible. With the warm weather upon us, please exercise due diligence in protecting all pets by picking up after your dogs.
Two Convenient Locations
1929 West Market Street
Akron, OH 44313
(behind Walgreen's and AutoZone)
Spay & Neuter Clinic
1700 West Exchange Street
Akron, OH 44313
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