Parasites

Fleas

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Cows, Parasites

Fleas are small, wingless insects with mouth parts that are specifically adapted to piercing the skin and sucking blood. There are greater than 1,600 species of fleas present worldwide. Roughly 95% of flea species will live on mammals and about 50% will live on birds. Most flea infections in the US are due to Ctenocephalides felis which is more commonly known as the cat flea. C. felis affect more than 50 different mammalian and avian hosts throughout the world. In the U.S., the most common hosts are domestic and wild mammals including cats, dogs, cattle, and man.

Coccidiosis in Cattle

Filed Under: Cows, Diseases, Parasites

Coccidiosis in cattle is caused by the protozoan parasites Eimeria bovis, Eimeria zuernii, and Eimeria auburnensis. Coccidia are intracellular parasites of many organs and tissues in cattle.

Toxoplasma

Filed Under: Cats, Diseases, Parasites

Toxoplasmosis is caused by an organism called Toxoplasma gondii which is a type of protozoan. This particular protozoan is an intracellular parasite of many organs and tissues of birds and mammals, including man. The only known definitive or complete hosts are wild and domestic Felidae or cats. This means that only in infected cats will the entire life cycle of this parasite be completed. The cat is the only animal which will shed and thereby spread oocysts (eggs) in their feces.

Infection can be obtained in one of three ways:

West Nile Encephalomyelitis in the Horse

Filed Under: Horses, Diseases, Parasites

West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus that was first identified in Africa during 1937. WNV is considered to be endemic in Africa, Asia, Southern Europe and North America. The virus first appeared in North America around the New York City area in 1999, when wild and zoo birds, horses and humans died of meningoencephalitis. WNV has been found in 225 different wild and captive bird species. Birds are the natural host and reservoir of this virus.

Canine Tapeworms

Filed Under: Dogs, Parasites

Two types of tapeworm affect dogs, Dipylidium caninum and Taenia species. Dipylidium caninum is the more common type of tapeworm found in dogs and cats. Adult tapeworms are found in the small intestine of their host. These worms shed small segments, called proglottids (packets of 20 to 40 eggs) in the stool. Once in the environment, proglottids of the Dipylidium tapeworm are consumed by flea larvae. As the flea larva matures, the egg of the tapeworm eventually develops into its infective form called a cysticercoid. The dog or cat ingests the flea while grooming itself.

Heartworm Disease in the Cat

Filed Under: Cats, Parasites

Heartworms or Dirofilaria immitis are a spaghetti-type worm that will develop in the heart and lungs of an affected feline. Heartworm disease in cats was first reported in 1920’s both in Brazil and in the U.S. Domestic and exotic felines may all become infected. Heartworms affect male and female cats in equal numbers.

Ticks

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Parasites

Ticks are essentially large mites that are covered with a leathery integument. A tick’s sole purpose is sucking blood from mammals, birds and reptiles, and then reproducing to provide the next generation. Ticks are not insects, but arachnids. An adult will have eight legs and three body segments. As arachnids, ticks are related to spiders, chiggers, scorpions and mites.

Hot Spots (Acute Moist Dermatitis)

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Parasites

Have you ever had an itch that was driving you insane? You just could not leave it alone even though the skin was becoming irritated? You may even scratch at the area so bad that you caused it to bleed. Everyone was trying to advise you not to scratch and yet you somehow just could not leave it alone. Sounds like a pet with a hot spot, or “acute moist dermatitis.”

Heartworm Preventatives for Cats

Filed Under: Cats, Parasites

Currently there are two forms of heartworm preventative approved for use in the cat.

Heartworm Disease in Dogs

Filed Under: Dogs, Parasites

Heartworms can be a problem anywhere mosquitoes inhabit. This disease syndrome is especially prevalent in Florida and the other Gulf Coast States. Due to their mild climate, these states are pestered by mosquitoes year round.

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