Educational Articles

Dogs + Infectious Diseases

  • Roundworms are parasites that live freely in the intestine, feeding off of partially digested intestinal contents. Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina are two important species of roundworms in dogs. Infected dogs shed the microscopic roundworm eggs in their feces. Other dogs may become infected by sniffing or licking infected feces. There are many safe and effective preparations available to kill adult roundworms in the intestine.

  • Despite sounding like a toxicity, salmon poisoning is actually an infection. Salmon poisoning is caused by a type of bacteria found within parasitic flatworms that infect the tissues of wild fish found in coastal streams of the Pacific Northwest.

  • Sarcoptic mange is caused by a parasitic mite that burrows just beneath the surface of the skin. The Sarcoptes mites can bury into the skin of healthy adult dogs and puppies and feeds on material in and on the skin. The presence of the sarcoptic mite causes intense itching. There are several medications that are effective against Sarcoptes.

  • Swine Influenza or swine flu is a contagious respiratory disease of pigs, caused by a type A influenza virus. Type A influenza viruses can affect a range of other animals and humans. Like all influenza viruses, swine flu viruses change or mutate constantly. Swine flu is commonly seen in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe.

  • Tularemia is an uncommon infection in dogs, but they can be exposed if they kill and/or eat an infected rabbit or rodent.

  • Valley Fever is a disease caused by a fungus known as Coccidiodes immitis. Although the proper name for this disease is "coccidioidomycosis", it is most often called Valley Fever, "California disease", "Desert rheumatism", or "San Joaquin Valley Fever".

  • Whipworms are intestinal parasites that are about 1/4 inch (6 mm) long. They live in the cecum and colon (large intestine) of dogs where they cause severe irritation to the lining of those organs.

  • Yeast dermatitis or Malassezia dermatitis is caused by the fungus Malassezia pachydermatis. It is an extremely common cause of skin disease in dogs.