Dog Infections You Should Know About

Losing a beloved pet to an illness that can be prevented is almost like losing a human loved one who has not been given the proper treatment. As a pet owner, you should be aware of these common infections that can affect your dogs.

  • Actinomycosis and Nocardiosis. These are caused by the bacteria Actinomyces sp. and Nocardia sp., respectively. Dogs with wounds are at greater risk, so make sure to wash and dress them properly to prevent infection.
  • Aspergillosis. It is a fungal infection that causes nasal discharge, frequent sneezing, and bleeding and swollen nose.
  • Bacterial Ear Infection. An ear infection is usually caused by the yeast Malassezia pachydermatis. Symptoms include inflamed inner ears, bad odor and waxy buildup in the ears, and itchiness.
  • Blastomycosis. The fungal infection can cause weight loss, lameness, and coughing.
  • Brucellosis. This contagious infection is caused by the bacterium Brucella canis. Look out for the following if your dog has been neutered or spayed: back pain, paralysis, rear leg weakness, eye inflammation, and scrotal enlargement in males.
  • Coccidiosis. This intestinal infection is caused by a protozoal parasites Coccidia. Signs include diarrhea, bloody stool or stool with mucus, weight loss, and loss of appetite especially in puppies.
  • Cryptococcus. Caused by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, the infection can affect the skin, eyes, lymph nodes, and brain. Look out for the following symptoms: seizures, inflamed eyes, swollen lymph nodes, coughing, and imbalance.

  • Distemper. Canine distemper is caused by the canine distemper virus. It can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, loss of appetite, eye or nose discharge, fever, labored breathing, hardening of the footpads, and eye inflammation. Neurological symptoms develop when not treated, which include sensitivity to touch, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and uncoordinated movement.
  • Ehrlichiosis. Caused by the bacteria Ehrlichia, it is usually transmitted by ticks. Watch out for the following: neurological problems, eye inflammation, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, eye or nose discharge, muscle pain, enlarged spleen or lymph nodes, abnormal bleeding, fever, and low platelet count.
  • Giardia. It is also a name for a protozoan parasite that can cause diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, loss of appetite, and vomiting.
  • Leptospirosis. This is an infection caused by the Spirochetes bacterium. Symptoms include vomiting, fever, redness of the mucous membranes, and lethargy.
  • Lyme Disease. It is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, lameness, lethargy, painful joints, and loss of appetite.
  • Parvovirus. This contagious viral infection has two forms. One type causes bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, and weight loss while the second type attacks the heart muscles and often affects puppies. Although some older dogs survive parvo, it is often a fatal infection, so the best way to prevent it is through vaccination.
  • Staphylococcal Infection. Caused by the Staphylococcus sp. Bacteria, it is a skin infection that can also affect humans. It is usually treated with antibiotics, shampoo, and ointments.

  • Toxoplasmosis. If you have a cat, you and your dog will also risk exposure to the Toxoplasma gondii parasite which can cause seizures and neurological problems, tremors, muscle weakness, paralysis, respiratory problems, inflammation of the tonsils/retina/iris/cornea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, and jaundice.