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Educational Articles

Dogs + Infectious Diseases

  • Unfortunately, anthrax has been threatened as a method of bio-terrorism and dogs can be infected, as can most mammals. Different animals have different levels of susceptibility to anthrax infection. Herbivores (animals that eat plants, such as cattle, sheep, and horses) are the most susceptible to anthrax.

  • Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections are bacterial infections that are minimally or no longer responsive to commonly used antibiotics. In other words, these bacteria are resistant to antibiotics - they cannot be killed and their growth cannot be stopped. An infection that does not respond appropriately to an antibiotic is suggestive of an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection.

  • Babesiosis is a disease that can be spread by multiple species of ticks and affect both dogs and people. It can be a persistent infection to treat and might not fully be cleared from the body. Treatment may involve multiple drugs and tick control is recommended in at risk regions for at risk pets.

  • In general terms, the respiratory system is divided into two parts. The upper respiratory tract consists of the nose, nasal sinuses, throat and trachea or windpipe while the lower respiratory tract consists of the ‘small airways’ (bronchi and bronchioles) and the alveoli (the small air sacs deep in the lung tissue where oxygen exchange occurs).

  • Blastomycosis is a fungal disease caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis. This fungus most commonly infects humans and animals through the respiratory tract. After the fungal spores are inhaled, they settle in the small airways and begin to reproduce. The organism then spreads throughout the body and may infect other organs. Rarely, infection occurs through contamination of an open wound.

  • Blepharitis means inflammation of the eyelid. In most cases, the inflammation affects the outer two layers of the eyelids; in some cases it may spread to involve the inner lining or palpebral conjunctiva.

  • Botulism is a rare condition that can cause paralysis in dogs. It is caused by ingesting the botulinum toxin, which is produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum that can grow on raw meat and dead animals. The toxin can cause muscle paralysis and lead to death. It is difficult to diagnose and there is no vaccine available, although an antitoxin is available if the condition is identified before signs develop.

  • Campylobacter infection or Campylobacterosis is a bacterial intestinal infection cased by Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter upsaliensis. It is a major cause of human bacterial enteritis although it is considered a normal bacterium in the intestinal tract of many animals and birds.

  • Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria from the genus Brucella. There are different species of Brucella that infect sheep, goats, cattle, deer, elk, pigs, dogs, and other animals.

  • Histoplasmosis is a chronic, non-contagious fungal infection caused by the soil-dwelling fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Histoplasma capsulatum is found globally and may infect both humans and animals. However, histoplasmosis is uncommon to rare in all but dogs and cats.