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Sarcocystis Infection in Dogs

Sarcocystosis in Dogs

The agent responsible for sarcocystosis (Sarcocystis) is identical to the organism causing equine protozoal meningitis. Dogs are believed to be susceptible to Sarcocystis infection, although signs of illness in affected dogs are uncommon. Sarcocystosis can manifest in both dogs and cats.

Symptoms and Types

Symptoms are infrequently observed in dogs but may encompass:

  • Reduced appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea, possibly with blood
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Paralysis
  • Muscle pain
  • Myositis (muscle inflammation)
  • Muscle atrophy (muscle deterioration)


Dogs can contract the infection by consuming raw meat containing Sarcocystis organisms.


At times, Sarcocystis organisms may be detected in feces through microscopic fecal examination. However, diagnosis is typically established by identifying the organism through histopathology in various tissues like the lungs, liver, kidney, spleen, brain, and muscle. Although more advanced tests such as immunohistochemistry and PCR may be accessible in certain research facilities, they are not commonly accessible outside of research environments.


There is no specific treatment available for sarcocystosis. However, if sarcocystosis is suspected or confirmed, treatments like clindamycin or sulfadiazine may be attempted.


Ensure your dog does not consume raw or undercooked meat.

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