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Dogs + Parasites

  • Afoxolaner is a chewable tablet used to treat and prevent flea and tick infestations in dogs. It has also been used off-label to treat certain types of mange and mites. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Side effects are uncommon but may include stomach upset or neurologic symptoms. Do not use in pets with a history of seizures. If a negative reaction occurs, please call the veterinary office.

  • Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease caused by the infectious bacterial organism Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It is transmitted through bites of the deer tick (also known as the black-legged tick) and the Western black-legged tick. A lesser form of anaplasmosis is caused by Anaplasma platys and is transmitted by the brown dog tick. Dogs with anaplasmosis often have many of the same symptoms as those with Lyme disease, and infection with both agents (co-infection) is not uncommon.

  • 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.

  • Azithromycin is given by mouth or injection and is used on and off-label to treat a variety of infections. Give as directed. Common side effects include stomach upset. Do not use in pets that are sensitive to macrolide antibiotics. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Capillaria is a small internal parasite, often less than half of a centimeter in length. They are closely related to intestinal worms, though they can live in a variety of locations within the body. Diagnosis can be difficult because the eggs of Capillaria are shed only on an intermittent basis. While the parasite is easily eliminated with a dewormer, your dog may require additional medications to decrease the inflammation associated with the infection.

  • Cheyletiellosis is an uncommon but highly contagious skin parasite of dogs, cats, humans, and rabbits caused by Cheyletiella spp. mites. The most important clinical sign of cheyletiellosis is scaling or dandruff. Due to the large size of the skin mite, it is easily seen under a microscope set on low magnification. Cheyletiella mites are susceptible to most topical insecticides and the prognosis is excellent.

  • Coccidia are single-celled organisms that can act as parasites after infecting your dog through the gastrointestinal tract. The most common form affecting dogs, Isospora, is not a concern for infecting people. They are highly resistant to environmental conditions and cleanliness is important to prevent re-infection. Treatment is often simple with the appropriate antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian.

  • Cuterebra are botflies that spend the larvae stage of their lifecycle within rodent or rabbit hosts and can accidentally infect dogs. They enter through the nose, mouth or a skin wound. They usually develop a cyst under the skin that can be located as it enlarges and often a breathing hole can be seen. The larva (warble) will leave the dog when it is ready to form a pupa but it will often leave behind a secondary bacterial skin infection or abscess in the empty cyst. Rarely, the larva/cuterebra migrate aberrantly through the dog causing inflammation and damage to different tissues, including the brain and eyes, and even potentially cause a severe systemic inflammatory response. Treatment depends on what damage has been done and can include removal of the warble, debridement or removal of the cyst, antibiotics and symptomatic and supportive treatment of the results of aberrant migration. Prognosis is generally good if only the skin is involved. Cuterebra infection can not be prevented easily, so monitoring the dog regularly for signs is important.

  • Demodectic mange is caused by a parasitic mite that lives in the hair follicles of dogs. As long as the body's immune system is functioning properly, these mites cause no harm. Demodectic mange most often occurs when a dog has an immature or weakened immune system, allowing the number of skin mites to increase rapidly. Topical, oral, and injectable medications are available to treat demodectic mange.

  • Diarrhea is a symptom of an underlying problem that may be minor or very serious. Some cases may resolve on their own or with minimal treatment, while other cases require in-depth diagnostic testing and more aggressive treatment to address the underlying condition. The possible causes, diagnostic tests, and treatment protocols for diarrhea in dogs are numerous and are explained in this handout.

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106 Elk Mills Road
Elkton, MD 21921

Phone: 410-398-1331


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