Parasites

Common Causes:

A wide range of parasites exists, both external and internal types.  Transmission routes and lifecycles vary widely between species and even individual animals.  Good hygienic caring by the owner. with clean dry housing, good food, and a system of preventing dung accumulation  is essential, especially if there are a pack of dogs living in the same area. Often transmission of parasites occurs in dirty conditions. For instance Ankylostoma sp. and Uncaria sp.  (both whipworms) can accumulate in kennel areas where the bare  moist soil is not covered with a concrete pad or similar. The larvae can bore through the soft skin between the toes of the potential host 

Symptoms:

Symptoms vary widely depending on the species of parasite and the normal routes of infestation as indicated above, where whipworms affect adult and growing dogs sucking blood from the intestinal wall wheras more common types (Toxocara sp.) are transmitted from  the mother to pups.
 Dogs do eat human faeces given the chance and so human Giardia sp. infections can be transmitted to the companion animal in unhygienic conditions.

Without treatment the dog will probably harbour parasites. It is really about knowing the life cycles of the common parasites and finding ways of interrupting them. Probably the worst parasite in NZ is Hydatids (Echinococcus granulosis) as it can easily be transmitted to children from the dust in the dogs coat and thence to the child's mouth when it undergoes a transformation to form a cyst in the childs abdomen or in other areas of the body. In this form it is particularly difficult to treat and can cause major pain and physical problems.

 DO NOT feed raw sheep or goat meats unless the meat has been blast frozen. Normal deep freeze will not kill the parasite. Shampoo the dog regularly especially before children play with it, and attend to hygiene such as collecting dog dung from lawns and other areas.  .

Consider This:

Regular worming with a broad spectrum wormer is recommended especially in warmer parts of Australia where heartworm (transmitted by mosquitos is a potential problem.

 The topic is very large because of the number of diffwerent species of parasites present in any one location.  Detailed advise from your local vet or information is available from the subscription section of this web site..