5 Contagious Diseases That Are Transmitted By Dogs

5 Contagious Diseases That Are Transmitted By Dogs

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly viral disease, that is a member of the zoonotic disease family, that affects dogs and other mammals, birds, and people. It is a zoonosis virus that has been known since ancient times. This virus is mainly spread by dogs and other predators, which means that animals and humans can infect each other leading to its incredible infectivity rate. There are reports from ancient Greece, Rome, and Babalon about this clinical illness and the transmission of the disease through biting and saliva.

Sadly, rabies is an incurable virus that rapidly affects the brain, spinal cord, and nervous systems of the infected wild animal. While the fatal virus is preventable and treatable if discovered early on, once symptoms appear, there is nothing you can do to help your dog and there are no treatment options. This is why it is extremely important to ensure that your dog is current on all of its vaccinations.

The virus is transmitted through the spit and saliva of an infected animal. A bite usually causes the viral infection to enter the bloodstream of the victim. However, it is also possible to acquire the contagion by the direct contact of the saliva with mucous membranes or superficial wounds within another animal. Other routes of transmission are still being researched as of today. 

The virus travels through the blood stream and advances to the central nervous system and salivary glands from the entry point and is distributed throughout the dog’s body. Until the first symptoms appear, it can take two to twenty-four weeks, depending on the area of ​​entry of the virus. The dog will get sick faster the closer the bite is to the central nervous system.

Canine Influenza

Almost 80 percent of dogs that are infected with canine influenza show symptoms that are mild. However, the fatality rate for this respiratory disease is very low, with less than one percent of all cases ending in death. Symptoms of the mild form of canine influenza typically include a cough that lasts about 10 to 30 days. In addition, you may notice that your dog has a greenish color nasal discharge.

If your dog is suffering from a more severe case of canine influenza, you may notice a high fever and pneumonia. Pneumonia is not directly caused by the disease but is the result of a secondary infection. If this happens, you need to seek veterinary intervention immediately as the fatality rate for dogs that develop pneumonia or respiratory infection as a secondary infection is as high as 50 percent.

Canine influenza virus is a respiratory disease that is transmitted through droplets that contain respiratory secretions that are infected with the virus. This is typically a result of coughing or sneezing. Dogs that are frequently in the presence of other dogs are at an increased risk of developing canine influenza. This includes dogs that go to a day care center, groomers, kennels, and any facility with many dogs present.

Canine influenza can also be spread through indirect exposure such as food bowls, water bowls, collars, and leashes that were used by an infected dog. In addition, it can be spread by a person if they were in contact with an infected dog. If you have multiple dogs in your household, it is important to frequently disinfect common surfaces that are shared by the dogs. This helps to prevent the spread of the virus. If you have been in contact with other dogs outside of your home, you should be sure to wash your hands before interacting with your dog. This prevents the spread of illness from the unknown dog to your dog.

The canine influenza virus is a durable virus and can remain on surfaces for up to 48 hours. This is why it is important to implement frequent cleaning procedures. This is especially important if you live in an area that is known for the canine influenza virus.

This respiratory disease has an incubation period of 1 to 5 days, in most cases, clinical signs of illness appear after 2 to 3 days after exposure and infection. Infected dogs are most contagious during the incubation period as the virus is shed without the dog showing any symptoms of illness. In some cases, dogs do not show any symptoms and still spread the virus to other dogs.

Flea And Tick

Ixodoids (the scientific name for ticks) are small parasites that are part of the arachnid family. Like their cousins, mites or spiders are recognizable by their four pairs of legs, unlike insects with three pairs. They usually live in nature, hidden in medium-height vegetation, where they wait for an animal to pass by to feed on its blood like a good parasite. After their “feast” is over, they drop down and continue searching for their next victim.

A tick can stay on a dog for several days, and the longer it is, the greater the risk of infection. For this reason, it is essential to act quickly to detect as soon as possible if a tick bite has infected your dog. They transmit diseases to both animals and persons and can leave sequelae for life or even cause death in the most severe cases. The three main conditions of tick-borne disease that can spread are babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, or the well-known Lyme disease.

First, if your dog has fleas, it is important that you check and treat all of your pets and surroundings to make sure there are no traces of fleas, eggs, or larvae. Wash all blankets and beds at least sixty degrees. When you vacuum the house and clean, remove the vacuum bag immediately to discard any fleas that it may have picked up. Second, ensure you can treat the environment with insect repellent or dewormers.

It is also important to combat the larvae’s previous stages and treat the spaces where they can be found, such as the dog’s resting places, the cracks in the floor, the surfaces under the carpets, and other dark places where the larvae can hide. It is necessary to wash the blankets and cushions and vacuum the floor and the car thoroughly. After doing so, throw away the bag from the vacuum cleaner or put it in the freezer to ensure that the fleas do not escape. After cleaning, you should spray the space with an insecticide, an antiparasitic spray, or a nebulizer that you can buy in a specialized store or your own veterinarian. A flea and tick infestation can also lead to bacterial infection, so it is important to seek treatment as soon as the parasites are detected.

Distemper

Canine distemper virus belongs to the family of paramyxoviruses and has the characteristic of spreading rapidly. It is transmitted by contact with various secretions and excrements such as saliva, urine, and feces of sick animals by inhalation, oral ingestion, or contact with the fetus with viruses through the mother. In the latter case, the disease only manifests itself after weaning the puppy as the puppy does not have maternal protective proteins (antibodies) anymore. The canine distemper virus occurs worldwide and can infect dogs, cats, bears, martens, seals, and hyenas.

The distemper virus in dogs is very contagious among canines. This disease is also incredibly lethal within our furry friends. However, the good news is that it is 100 percent preventable with proper vaccinations and regular veterinary checkups.

If, for example, the virus is breathed in through the air, the virus’s first point of contact is the surface of the respiratory tract (respiratory epithelium). When an infected dog or wild animal coughs, sneezes, or barks, he releases aerosol droplets into the environment, infecting nearby animals and surfaces, like food and water bowls.

There the viruses attack certain cells of the innate immune system, called macrophages. Normally, they are tasked with detecting, absorbing, and then killing pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. However, distemper viruses can survive in macrophages and even multiply enough in them not to be destroyed. Thus, after just a few hours, they reach the lymph nodes and other lymphatic organs such as the spleen and liver through the lymph. In a short time, viruses reach the entire body through the bloodstream. The main targets are the urinary, genital, and respiratory tracts and nervous tissue.

Since the canine distemper virus cannot survive long in a normal environment, areas, and objects must be disinfected and cleaned regularly, especially in endemic areas.

Compulsory vaccinations; the basic immunization should be done from the eighth week of life and another four weeks later. At the age of 12 months, it is recommended to repeat the distemper vaccine, which can be done every two to three years.

It is always best to provide your dog with preventative measures to avoid infection with distemper as it is a very fatal disease. This will keep both you and your furry friend happy and healthy!

Internal Parasites And Worms

These types of parasites are those that live inside the dog. They can be of different types, and they can be treated in specific ways depending on the type. Unfortunately, these are the ones that cause the greatest danger to the dog since it directly affects its body, and they are not so easy to detect. Since they are not visible to the naked eye, you would need a series of signals to know that your dog is suffering from a specific parasite.

Internal parasites generally manifest as worms when they are in the intestinal area. The most common types are strongyles, whipworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. They can also be housed elsewhere as the heartworm does.

Strongyle parasites: Intestinal strongyle or strongylid parasites are zoonotic. That is, they affect both animals and humans. They are transmitted in three ways: in lactation from the mother to the puppy, when larvae of this type penetrate the dog’s skin, and by self-infection. They are intestinal parasites that lodge into the small intestine and take approximately one week to develop in the body fully. Symptoms are not easily detected since they develop an immune response in the case of adult dogs. However, in puppies, it can cause diarrhea. If the dog was infested through the skin, it might show lesions on the legs, such as pododermatitis.

Whipworms: Known in this way for their elongated, hooked shape, they lodge in the large and small intestines to feed on the dog’s blood, which becomes infected by ingesting eggs on contaminated surfaces. They have a development time of almost three months and are normally seen in adult dogs. However, their appearance in puppies is not ruled out. When the infection is severe, it can cause diarrheas with colic, blood, mucus in the stool, anemia, anorexia, and weight loss.

Roundworms: include roundworms or Toxocara canis, which mainly infest puppies and cause rapid death due to gastrointestinal obstruction or enteritis. This can happen even in the first two weeks of life. The puppy may suffer from abdominal discomfort and swelling in the area, diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, and normal growth may be stopped due to roundworms.

Tapeworms: Tapeworm parasites, also called worms, are common in dogs and humans when raw meat is consumed since these parasites are found in cattle meat. They have a development period between a month and a half to two months, is located in the small intestine.

They do not affect the dog directly, only when the infection is severe causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating in the abdomen. When the dog is infested, it can expel part of the tapeworms through the feces or be exhibited in the anus of the patient.

Heartworm Dirofilaria: immitis, or heartworm, is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes and also mildly affects people. They are located in the pulmonary artery and the heart, generating heart failure in the animal, lung disease, and death if it is not treated in time. These parasites have a maturation period of six to nine months.

In the dog, frequent fatigue can be observed when performing physical activity or playing with other dogs. In addition, they may have a cough or weight loss.

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