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Intestinal Parasitic Infection (Strongyloidiasis) in Dogs

Strongyloidiasis in Dogs

Strongyloidiasis is a condition where dogs experience an intestinal infection caused by the parasite Strongyloides stercoralis (S. canis). Usually, it’s the female nematode that inhabits the lining of the dog’s intestines, leading to symptoms such as severe diarrhea. While S. stercoralis tends to prefer dogs as hosts, there’s a risk of transmission to humans.

Symptoms and Types

  • Skin inflammation, dermatitis rash
  • Coughing, bronchopneumonia
  • Diarrhea or constipation, particularly in newborn puppies
  • Presence of blood in stool
  • Presence of mucus in stool

Causes

Your dog can contract S. stercoralis through various means, such as skin penetration, ingestion of feces contaminated with the parasite, or nursing from an infected female dog. Strongyloidiasis tends to be more common in kennels, particularly in environments with inadequate sanitation and elevated temperatures and humidity levels.

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian may encounter difficulty in pinpointing the exact cause of your dog’s symptoms, as they could be attributed to various other parasites, bacteria, or viruses. To identify the infective agent, they may opt to culture a sample of your dog’s feces or conduct a colonoscopy on the animal.

Treatment

Unless your dehydrated dog requires intravenous fluid supplementation for stabilization, it will receive outpatient treatment. Preferred anthelmintic medications, which effectively eliminate internal parasites, include ivermectin and fenbendazole.

Living and Management

Your veterinarian will schedule monthly fecal examinations for the first six months post-treatment to ensure complete clearance of the infection. During this period, your dog may intermittently shed parasitic larvae and will require regular deworming sessions. Additionally, your veterinarian will advise thorough cleaning of your pet’s living area or kennel to eliminate any potential larvae. It’s important to handle the dog and its belongings with caution, as humans can sometimes contract S. stercoralis infection, leading to symptoms like rashes, severe abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea.

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