Many breeders often encounter such an unpleasant disease of their pets as helminthiasis. This disease is provoked by all types of helminthic infestations that enter the body of an animal.
Locations of parasites can be very diverse: the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), lungs, heart, liver, and circulatory system.
Causes of helminthiasis
Worms are equally affected by both adults and small puppies. And if, for a mature dog, as a rule, everything is limited to deworming, then for a puppy the consequences of the disease can be tragic. That's why it is very important to detect worms on time and carry out their destruction.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely rid your four-legged friend of them. All rehabilitation and preventive measures are aimed only at the maximum reduction in the number of worms in the dog's body. But such measures are simply necessary to maintain a normal state of health of the dog and its development.
There are several ways of infection with helminthiasis:
- The first and most common - through external sourcescontaining helminth eggs: feces, foods, various items, puddle water and ponds, raw fish, and more. Mostly, infection occurs during the dog’s traditional daily walk. Therefore, it is very important at such moments to try to limit her contact with potentially dangerous things as much as possible.
- The second method of infection is the direct connection of the dog with a sick animal or through intermediate hosts, fleas and ticks.
Symptoms, signs of worms
Unfortunately, often helminths may not manifest themselves for a long period or, on the contrary, disguise themselves as some diseases that have similar manifestations with helminthiasis. All this greatly aggravates the situation with the identification and treatment of the disease.
Concerning periodic counseling and examining your pet with a veterinarian.
However, helminths in some cases can be determined by yourself. To do this, you just need to carefully observe your own animal.
What should be the normal temperature in dogs? Every dog breeder should know this!
Be sure to read about enteritis - a disease that, if untreated, leads to the death of a pet.
What can a master who is worried about his pet’s condition do diarrhea? Details on the treatment and prevention of diarrhea.
How to get rid of parasite worms
Before deciding on the choice of anthelmintic drugs, the assortment of which is simply enormous today, it is worthwhile to first consult with a veterinarian and conduct an appropriate examination of the dog to identify them. After all, the choice of funds largely depends on the age, physiological characteristics and habitat of the animal.
Unfortunately, there are no universal drugs that can, with a single dose, completely eliminate all types of helminths. Therefore, a broad-spectrum medicine will be the best option. This is usually available in the form of tablets Drontal Plus, Azinox Plus, Vermox and Dronzit.
With prolonged treatment and prevention of worms, it is necessary to alternate drugs because of the ability of parasites to develop immunity to them.
How to deworm
Deworming of a dog is carried out repeatedly with a small frequency.
Modern drugs are able to partially or completely break down helminths in the body of the animal, so it is not possible to see the result of anthelmintic. The main thing is to carefully monitor the pet at the time of deworming and, if necessary, help it cleanse (enema, laxative, etc.).
The anthelmintic medicine is preferably given to the animal in the morning with food. For adult dogs, the tablet is wrapped in some kind of delicacy - meat, sausage - and fed, and if you refuse to take the medicine, put it deep on the root of the animal’s tongue, squeezing the jaw with your palms and lifting it up. For puppies, the tablet is crushed to a powder state, diluted with water and a syringe (without a needle) is poured into the mouth.
If suddenly immediately after taking the anthelmintic drug the dog became ill, the first thing to do is give the four-footed one some absorbent (enterosgel) and, urgently, consult a doctor. Further deworming is carried out under the strict supervision of a specialist.
It is known that the best treatment for any disease is its prevention! Therefore, to prevent stooling optimally anthelmintic an adult dog every three months. However, one should not forget that all anthelmintic drugs are, in fact, toxic poisons. Therefore, with deworming, one must always observe the utmost care and accuracy.
Small puppies can begin to be anthelmintic already from 12-14 days of their life. For them there are special “children's” preparations, mainly in the form of suspensions, for example, “Prazidid” or “Drontal plus for puppies”. Also mandatory after any worming is the vaccination of the animal, fixing the results of treatment.
As you can see, helminthiasis is a serious and unsafe disease. And in order for the four-legged friend to bring joy as long as possible, it is necessary to show special care and attention to his health.
Round worms are worms from 2 to 20 cm long, parasitizing in the intestines of dogs. The female helminth is able to lay up to 200,000 larvae per day. Each larva is covered by a strong shell that allows the larvae to survive in the soil for months or even years.
Can get infected with round worms mostly puppies, very often - while in the womb of a female patient with worms, as well as when feeding mother's milk.
In addition, infection of puppies occurs by contact with the soil, shoes and clothing of the owner, on which there are worm eggs.
Round worms contribute to the development of diseases toxocariasis and toxascariasis.
The helminths of Strongyloides stercoralis are dangerous both for the dog and for humans. These are round-shaped worms that live in the intestines. Eggs or larvae can be found in animal excrement. Infection occurs after eating food with larvae or through the skin. These worms cause strongyloidosis.
Exist and filamentous nematodes, from 6 to 13 mm long, which the small intestine chooses as their habitat. They feed on the blood of the host. They cause a disease called hookworm. Puppies in contact with the soil in which the larvae of these helminths are infected are infected.
The group of roundworms includes whisker whipworm with a slight thickening at the end of the body, having a length of 5-7.6 cm. For worm shape similar to the whip, these worms are also called whip-like.
The habitat is the wall of the cecum. Females of these worms lay a very small number of eggs, which makes it difficult to detect the parasite even during analyzes. Cause disease trichostrongyloidosis.
The following signals signal the development of nematodes in the dog’s body symptoms:
- in the feces, similar to yellow mucus, often containing blood, the parasites themselves and their larvae are found,
- uncontrollable vomiting, in which worms may also be present,
- weight loss with increased appetite,
- attempts to wipe the anus with skating on the floor,
- the appearance of a rash on the skin,
- hair loss and tarnishing,
- general exhaustion,
- the presence of a strong cough.
Helminths are called trematodes, the place of development of which are dogs' liver and bile ducts. The development of eggs of this type of worms occurs only in water, so the infection of a pet occurs with the use of contaminated water, raw fish or shellfish, which are an intermediate host of worms.
Once in the body, the trematode is attached to the tissue using two suction cups, because of which it is called fluke. Trematodes of different species can be several mm in length or more than 20 cm. The propagation of worms occurs very quickly.
Trematodes cause damage to the bile ducts, as a result, bile and pancreatic secretions accumulate, which leads to inflammation, jaundice, cirrhosis in dogs. If treatment is not started in a timely manner, the animal may die.
- staining of the mucous membranes in yellow,
- sore stomach
- the appearance of cough, diarrhea, vomiting with foam,
- fever, cramps,
- the occurrence of allergies to ordinary foods familiar to the dog.
Cestodes (tapeworms) are worms that have chosen the small intestine. On the wall of the intestine, they are fixed by suction cups and hooks on their head.
The length of an individual varies from a few mm to several meters. There are helminths and a 10-meter length. The body of the cestode is represented by segments containing capsules with eggs. These segments are sometimes removed from the body of the dog with feces or remain on the wool around the anus, similar in appearance to rice grains.
The disease occurs when a dog is given food. poorly cooked meat, raw fish or animal waste.
Cestodes are also presented several varieties:
- tapeworm Dipylidium caninum: 15–40 cm long. Causes a disease called dipylidiosis. Peddlers are infected fleas.
- Taenia solium pork tapeworm: parasitizes in the small intestine. It is carried by intermediate hosts - various farm animals. Teniosis causes the disease when dogs eat poorly processed meat of pigs, goats and others. This disease is dangerous for the person himself.
- tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus: shallow cestode only 2.5-5.5 mm in length. Like pork tapeworm, farm animals, which parasitize in various organs, are selected as intermediate hosts. The organs of animals are filled with "echinococcal bladders", often of large size. A dog becomes infected with echinococcosis by eating animal meat with blisters containing larvae.
Cestodes in a dog’s body give themselves out as follows symptoms:
- unpleasant putrefactive smell from the mouth,
- dry skin
- watery feces in which undigested food is present,
- pallor of the mucous membranes,
- irritability due to pain in the intestines,
- profuse vomiting, often larvae and adult worms are observed in it,
- big weight loss.
What are puppies like?
Puppies are susceptible to infection with the same helminths as adults, especially especially small dogs encountering roundworms - nematodes.
For example, in the body of a pregnant female, activation of roundworm larvae that attack embryos may occur. As a result, the puppy becomes infected with worms. even if the female underwent anthelmintic treatment.
The relationship of helminth species with the breed
It is mistakenly believed that worms can be infected only by outbred orphaned dogs living on the street. The news that thoroughbred dogs living in the apartment are also affected is surprised.
However, statistics claim that in 60-80 percent of dogs kept in houses, various types of worms parasitize.
This is due to the fact that for a helminth infection, a dog does not have to wander along the street and pick up garbage, it is enough contact with shoes, clothing of the owners, on which soil containing worm larvae has got.
Also, the owner of the dog himself can inadvertently infect the pet by giving him food poorly processed meat from infected farm animals.
Nematodes, trematodes and cestodes are only the main types of worms that affect the body of puppies and adult dogs. There are a lot of ways to infect parasites, and the symptoms are sometimes so unclear or similar to other diseases that detecting helminths on your own is not so easy.
In order to protect your pet and yourself at the same time, pet owners need to listen to the recommendations of veterinarians regarding prevention with the use of special drugs against parasites, and if one of the symptoms indicating a disease is found, go to the vet immediately for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Types of worms in dogs: general classification information
So, today the veterinary and medical sciences (taking this information from biologists) describe three main groups of parasites:
- Nematodes, (roundworms).
- Cestodes (they are sometimes called tapeworms or tapeworms).
- And trematodes. They are better known as hepatic flukes, although not all parasitic trematode species live in the liver.
- The most typical species are roundworms. Experienced veterinarians believe that cases of infection with them account for at least 75% of all detected and undetected helminthic infestations in the entire dog population in our country (in other countries everything is the same).
- Cestodesless common, but more dangerous (we will talk about this below).
- Trematodes are “fighters of the invisible front”. Many biologists and veterinarians are sure that almost all hunting dogs and dogs living in the countryside were ill or suffer from opistrchosis, but the owners may not notice anything (especially if there are few parasites in the body).
In veterinary practice, cases of co-infection are quite common when trematodes and roundworms, or trematodes and cestodes are adjacent in the body of one dog.
Situations when roundworms and cestodes live in the intestines are much less common. The worms are not alien to the competition for living space, but because they are struggling with "alien" species, gradually destroying them. And now we will consider each variety separately. The differences between these worms
Parasitic roundworms (nematodes)
As we wrote above, this is one of the most common types of animal helminths in the world. Roundworms are of particular interest in that they have recently (by biological standards) switched to a parasitic lifestyle.
This is due to many features of their structure:
- At first, the larvae of parasitic nematodes need free oxygen for development. To get enough of it, larvae (larval stage) migrate directly to pulmonary emphysema.
- Unlike the same cestodes (and they are real “veterans” of the parasitic lifestyle), nematodes have a full digestive (including the oral cavity and fairly sharp teeth) and nervous system, they have very well developed muscles. The latter for these worms is especially important, since they stay in the lumen of the intestines solely due to the constant movement in the thickness of semi-digested food masses.
- Most roundworms are dioecious, which is rare for the other two groups of helminths. Because of this, in particular, many cases of infections with cardiac helminths simply cannot be detected due to the absence of larvae in the blood. But they are not because in the body of the dog there can only be male or only female individuals of worms.
Worm Life Cycle
As a rule, all parasitic helminths are not enough just to get into the dog's body with food in the form of eggs or ready-made larvae: before this, young worms must necessarily mature in the body of one or more additional hosts.
After this, the development cycle in most cases is as follows:
- The larvae exit the eggs or bodies of the intermediate host, after which, biting into the wall of the intestines, get to the nearest blood vessel.
- Having broken through the wall of the latter, along with the general blood flow, parasites migrate to the lung tissue.
- In the pulmonary alveoli and bronchi, they remain for about two or three weeks, during which the larvae eat the tissues with appetite, while also feeding on the blood of the animal. Young and old dogs, whose immune system is not particularly strong, often develop acute bronchitis and even pneumonia.
- When this period expires, the bodies of the parasites begin to secrete irritating compounds that cause a local inflammatory reaction, which provokes a cough. Together with copious sputum, parasites enter the gastrointestinal tract for the second time, where this time they remain “in a permanent place of residence”, without migrating anywhere.
It is interesting that exactly ascariasis can be transmitted in several ways at once:
- Alimentary infection. The most common case when parasites enter the body of a dog along with food that is seeded with worm eggs.
- Infection through intermediate hosts. The role of the latter is often played by mouse-like rodents, sometimes insects, birds, amphibians. Of course, dogs are much less likely than cats to catch and eat small animals, but such a path of infection cannot be called rare.
- Infection with breast milk. Above, we described the process of primary migration of larvae from the intestine into the lung tissue. The problem is that not all parasites move to the lungs. Part settles in the tissues of the mammary glands.
- Intrauterine infection. Мигрирующие личинки легко преодолевают плацентарный барьер, после чего внедряются в тело щенят. And the birth of already infected babies is far from the worst. Parasites can very well damage the vital organs of unborn puppies.
For some types of roundworms, a more bizarre type of infection is also characteristic, when parasite larvae enter the dog's body through the skin on the paw pads.
However, in such cases, more often everything is limited to the development of dermatitis, but often young parasites get to the internal organs.
Symptoms of ascariasis
A dangerous feature of roundworms is their eating habits: many species are not satisfied with eating semi-digested food masses, but prefer to dilute their diet with mucous membranes and blood. Accordingly, permanent damage to the intestinal membranes does not pass without a trace: inflammatory processes develop, accompanied by serious digestive disorders.
In adults and physically strong animals, the clinical picture may either be absent altogether, or it may be extremely blurred and not obvious. But this applies only to those cases when there are relatively few parasites. In other situations, the compensatory reserves of the mechanism will sooner or later be exhausted.
What are the symptoms?
- The development of exhaustion is characteristic, as well as a sharp and clearly noticeable deterioration in the quality of the skin and coat.
- If there are a lot of parasites, and they belong to the "blood-sucking" species, anemia is almost inevitable.
- Constipation is quite characteristic, occasionally alternating with bouts of diarrhea.
- In the case of a critically severe helminthic invasion, when the intestines are literally clogged with the bodies of parasitic worms, the risk of intestinal perforation (i.e. rupture) becomes quite real. The walls of the body, corroded by the "guests", simply can not withstand the constant increase in internal pressure.
- The migration of roundworm larvae from the lungs to the intestines is accompanied by the development of strong and persistent coughing attacks.
- All the same larvae, but migrating from the intestines to the lungs, bear on themselves and in their internal organs a lot of pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic microflora. Once in the lungs, these microbes feel great and contribute to the development of severe inflammation.
In dogs, some types of parasitic nematodes can reach a length of 20 cm (but still this happens infrequently). Cases of very severe helminthic invasion are fraught with the appearance of tangles of worms in feces or vomit.
It is especially bad when the worms are thrown out with vomiting: this directly indicates a very strong invasion rate. The fact is that in "normal" conditions roundworms are extremely active in the intestines, and therefore do not go outside. And only in cases where there are critically many parasites, they can no longer maneuver in the lumen of the intestines.
One of the most common helminths in the world. In dogs, two species are more common:
• Toxascaris leonina.
• T. Canis.
These are quite large parasites, the females of which are able to grow to a length of more than a dozen centimeters. It is believed that these worms are used as an intermediate host of small mouse-like rodents. But there is evidence that infection with Toxascaris leonina can also occur after a dog eats food contaminated with helminth eggs.
With a strong degree of parasite invasion in the intestines of the dog, there may be so much that the pet has a real risk of dying from a bowel rupture.
The disease they cause is called dirofilariasis. The intermediate host is a mosquito or mosquito. They transfer the parasite larvae (dirofilaria) into the general bloodstream. Together with a blood stream, small parasites enter the chambers of the heart and pulmonary arteries, where they remain until the end of their lives. Several such helminths can live in the body of dogs.
In dogs, the disease is severe:
- Shortness of breath develops, breathing is hoarse and heavy.
- In severe cases, edematous phenomena occur, and the dog may well die from pulmonary edema, accompanied by copious foamy discharge from the jaws of the pet.
Worms can live in dog’s heart cavities for up to six years, and the problems with the death of worms in an animal do not end there. Pieces of parasite bodies can easily and naturally clog the lumen of even large vessels, resulting in either sudden death or gangrene.
In addition, even during treatment, cardiac helminths can cause many problems. Currently, many veterinarians prefer to use a rather complicated surgical operation to get them out of the animal’s body, because the usual antiparasitic drugs are not suitable for the destruction of adult forms of these helminths, since they do not give any effect (but the same ivermectin effectively destroys dirofilaria larvae).
It is necessary to use organic compounds of arsenic for the "killing" of parasites, which also do not work the best on the body of the dog itself. At the slightest deviation from the dosage, the animal can easily die or become disabled with progressive hepatic / renal failure. And therefore, dirofilariasis is treated exclusively in a clinic, but not at home.
Parasitic flatworms (cestodes)
In the domestic “near veterinary” periodicals they are commonly called “tapeworms”, while in foreign sources the term “tapeworms” is widely used. The body of any flatworm is clearly divided into two unequal (completely unequal) in size department: the head and a huge number of segments. Worms of this type grow, starting from the head.
Important! Even if the parasite loses its entire body, but the “head” remains intact, then in a few weeks there will be a “new” parasite in the dog’s intestines.
An interesting mechanism is the retention of flatworms in the lumen of the small intestine. Unlike roundworms, which have a smooth and muscular body, the cestode organism resembles a ribbon. Both in appearance and in properties. Those. they are physically unable to actively maneuver in the intestines. But they can be fixed directly on the wall of the intestines, using for this device in the form of hooks or suction cups.
Some species have slit-like clamps with which they "bite" the walls of the organ, fixing on it. Often there are cestodes that have combined fastening systems (in the form of “clamps” and hooks, for example).
The strength of such devices is sadly high: in order to remove the head of the worm, sometimes you have to resort to surgery. Note that there are no attachments on the body of flatworms; it freely “hangs” in the lumen of the small intestine.
If we compare them with parasitic nematodes, cestodes are boring creatures. Their eggs or larvae (in the body of the intermediate host) only need to get into the digestive tract of the host. Young scolexes are immediately attached to the mucous membrane of the small intestine, immediately after which their intensive growth and development begins.
Features of the physiology and biochemistry of cestodes
In general, cestodes are terribly primitive creatures. In their body there is no respiratory or digestive (nutrients are absorbed by the entire surface of the body) systems. Their sole purpose is to control the joint in which this or that node is located. The only thing that is surprising is the incredibly powerful reproductive system.
Most cestodes are hermaphrodites, so each segment has a male and female reproductive system. Thus, the ripe segment is a bag full of eggs, surrounded by a thin muscle membrane.
Such a “flawed” structure of the body of parasitic cestodes is explained in an elementary way: flatworms switched to a parasitic way of life a long time ago, and therefore all unnecessary systems either atrophied or degraded to the limit. And all this is very bad for dogs with cestodoses.
The worm receives nutrients from the gastrointestinal tract of the host. But the sick dog, in the intestines of which he is constantly releasing toxins, can not be envied. There are times when an animal dies from encephalopathy (severe functional damage to the brain).
Since these worms are (for the most part) bisexual, they do not need to reproduce their own kind of pair. Every day, ripened joints “stuffed” with eggs are “falling off” the cestode’s body. Also daily new ones grow from the neck area.
One feature is associated with this in the treatment of cestodoses: the parasite itself must be killed. If you use less "vigorous" drugs, the parasite can be stunned, all segments will disappear from it ... And after two or three weeks his body will completely recover.
Symptoms of flatworm infection
Symptoms are almost the same as in the case of ascariasis. But when infected with tapeworms, symptoms of severe intoxication manifest themselves much more clearly:
- The dog has frequent constipation, which is alternated with cases of severe diarrhea. In feces there are a lot of mucous inclusions, an extremely unpleasant smell comes from feces.
- The pet's condition is constantly deteriorating, in severe cases (due to the abundance of toxins) neurological seizures are possible.
Dipylidiosis (cucumber tapeworm)
It is with this disease that the appearance of strange “pellets” in the form of rice or “cucumber seeds” in the animal feces, as well as on floors throughout the house, etc., is associated. As the reader could already guess, the “seeds” are the segments of the parasitic worm, which was called “cucumber tapeworm” for the similarity of its segments to the seeds of the cucumber. In the intestines of dogs, the parasite can grow up to about a meter (maximum 1.3 meters). The life cycle of this parasite is interesting.
As an intermediate host, its larvae use fleas. The disease is not transmitted with the bites of these bloodsuckers. Everything is somewhat more complicated. So. First, a segment is detached from the body of the worm. It is not just a “suitcase” stuffed with eggs, but rather a self-propelled installation for their distribution in the external environment. The fact is that there are holes on the sides of the joint. When a segment is in the external environment, it begins to move. He has enough energy in the muscles to crawl a couple of meters.
When the joint creeps, eggs are squeezed out of the holes on its sides. And then flea larvae eat them. In their bodies, larvae emerge from the eggs and invade the muscles of bloodsuckers. When a dog eats such a flea, infection occurs. It is interesting that insects, in the body of which there are parasite larvae, become lethargic, which is why animals swallow them more often.
The causative agent is the cestode Multiceps multiceps. The parasite also does not differ in "modesty", sometimes growing up to a meter in length. The role of intermediate hosts is most often played by small cattle (sheep and goats). Scolexes are located in the spinal cord or brain. Dogs become infected by eating offal.
Echinococcosis and Alveococcosis
One of the most dangerous helminthiases. The cestodes themselves that cause these diseases do not look dangerous. Moreover, it is not easy to examine them with the naked eye, since the size of adult parasites does not exceed several millimeters. Because of this, it is not uncommon for the invasion intensity to be very strong, but the owners are unaware of the disease of their pet. So what is the danger of these cestodoses?
The whole problem is in their larvae. The role of an intermediate host is most often cattle and small cattle, horses and pigs that become infected by eating grass contaminated with parasite eggs. That's just the intermediate owner can be a dog, as well as a person.
The primary larva, once in the organs and tissues of the animal, forms a capsule around itself, in which hundreds and thousands of new scolexes grow. This capsule can form anywhere, including in the brain. For this reason, echinococcosis and alveococcosis are considered deadly pathologies. When they are discovered, the animal should be isolated from other dogs and people (especially children and old people)!
Important! When caring for a sick dog, you must strictly observe personal hygiene measures. In addition, all feces of such a pet veterinarians advise to collect and burn without fail to prevent the spread of the parasite in the external environment.
Parasitic trematodes (flukes)
They are flukes. The most common species live in the bile ducts and directly in the gallbladder, but there are (rarely) species that prefer the stomach. In addition, even ordinary flukes, "mistakenly" falling into the intestinal lumen, being thrown out by a current of bile, can creep (along other ducts) into the pancreas. There, parasites also feel good (which can not be said about the health of the animal).
Even adult trematodes do not differ in special sizes, rarely growing more than three centimeters in length. Their body is covered with a dense and durable cuticle, able to withstand a constant stay in bile. Parasites are attached to the duct walls using suction cups. There are several of these for trematodes.
Unlike the same cestodes, the structure of flukes is not so primitive: they have a fully-fledged digestive and excretory system, the flukes body has rather powerful muscles. The latter helps the worm to stay in the lumen of the bile ducts. Parasites move, by the way, very beautifully: if you put such a helminth in a jar of water, it will soar in the liquid, very much like a miniature slope.
Symptoms of trematodoses
Since the liver is one of the most important organs in the body of the animal, the constant residence of parasites in it does not lead to anything good:
- Since trematodes feed on mucous membranes and blood, the walls of the bile ducts are constantly damaged. This (including) leads to the fact that bile begins to enter the bloodstream. Cholemia develops, fraught with severe intoxication.
- For the same reasons, a chronic inflammatory process of the catarrhal type develops in the bile ducts. This leads to blockage of their lumen, as a result of which bile cannot enter the small intestine.
- Lack of bile, which is the most important secret, without which it is impossible to digest lipids, always leads to disruption of the digestive process. The dog develops diarrhea, and feces become whitish. The less bile, the lighter and fatter the stool becomes (the latter is not surprising, since the feces are full of undigested fat).
- In severe cases, when the bile ducts are completely blocked, bile has nowhere to go, the pressure in the body is constantly increasing ... But because it begins to penetrate the blood. Cholemia develops, often accompanied by severe neurological seizures (the brain "dislikes" blood with bile very much).
- Finally, upon palpation of the right hypochondrium, the dog begins to break out and whine, as these actions cause him severe pain.
- In addition, the pathological condition of the liver is almost always accompanied by a visible yellowing of all visible mucous membranes and even the skin. The condition of the coat is greatly deteriorating, which becomes very stiff and brittle. Sometimes a distinctly tangible, pungent and unpleasant odor starts to come from the dog.
Life cycle and pathways of infection
Many trematodes are “attached” to water, since they require two intermediate hosts: a mollusk and a fish (often from the cyprinid family). In addition, in some cases, the intermediate host is a land mollusk (snail or slug).
Thus, the infection occurs exclusively by alimentary route, after the animals eat small game.
Not to be confused with echinococcosis, the diseases are completely different. The life cycle is completely similar to that for the opisthorch. The only difference is that the parasite larvae are localized in the gills of the intermediate host.
That is why the dogs of fishermen and hunters are often infected, to whom the waste of butchering is “passed”. The disease is also accompanied by severe digestive disorders, diarrhea often develops in sick animals, and exhaustion progresses.
The causative agent is Opisthorchis felineus. The traditional name for the parasite is cat fluke. The disease is characterized by very vivid manifestations of liver failure, which we already wrote about above.
The parasite can live in the dog’s liver for up to six years, during which the animal progresses exhaustion and the condition of the coat is very much worse.
Perhaps the most common trematodosis. Most likely, most dogs who are suspected of opisthorchiasis are affected by alariosis. The fact is that small mouse-like rodents and other mammals act as an additional host.
The probability of their eating by a dog is much higher, and therefore the risk of infection is greater. Interestingly, sick animals often show signs of damage to the gastrointestinal tract. In particular, the development of chronic gastroenteritis is characteristic.