Toxoplasmosis in dogs: what is it, how is it transmitted, what are the symptoms and how is it treated?

 Toxoplasmosis in dogs: what is it, how is it transmitted, what are the symptoms and how is it treated?

Tracy Wilkins

Toxoplasmosis is a well-known disease in the human universe. What few people know is that, just as with us, dogs can also develop this dangerous zoonosis. It is caused by a protozoan called a toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma Gondii But how does this transmission occur? What are the main symptoms of toxoplasmosis in dogs and what treatments are recommended? To clarify everything about this infectious condition and how it affects the dog's health, the Paws of the House has gathered the most important information about the disease in a single article. See below!

How does the transmission of toxoplasmosis in dogs occur?

Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease that can affect both humans and animals - and dogs and cats are included in this list. Although it affects different species, felines are the ones who take the "blame" for the transmission of toxoplasmosis (although not all of them are hosts of the parasite), and for this reason the disease is also popularly known as "cat disease". But then,Where do dogs come into this situation? First of all, it is necessary to understand the reproduction cycles of the parasite in question, which acts in two different ways in each species.

In cats, the intestinal cycle occurs, where the parasites reproduce in the intestine of the feline, and the eggs of the protozoan are eliminated through the feces. Then, the eggs reach maturity in the external environment in a period ranging from 1 to 5 days. In dogs, reproduction is through the extra intestinal cycle. In this case, the eggs are ingested by the patient and when they reach the intestine, the eggs are ingested.the parasites can reach the animal's bloodstream and can infect other organs and parts of the animal's body.

Therefore, it is important to be aware of the places that the dog has access to, as contact with surfaces contaminated with the protozoa Toxoplasma Gondii The same goes for eating raw meat that is infested with the parasites that cause this disease. It is worth noting that puppies and dogs with low immunity are more likely to contract toxoplasmosis.

Does the dog transmit toxoplasmosis to humans?

As it is a zoonosis, i.e. a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans, a very common question is how to catch toxoplasmosis from a dog. The answer is simple: dogs, unlike cats, are not able to eliminate the eggs contaminated by the parasites through their feces. Remember the question of the reproduction cycle? So, that answers the question by itself, since onlyDogs, on the other hand, are infected, but the reproduction cycle is limited to their bodies only, without compromising the health of humans.

What can happen is, for example, a dog has contact with a floor where there was feces from a contaminated cat, and these eggs get "stuck" in the paw or coat.

Toxoplasmosis in dogs: symptoms of the disease are quite varied

Dogs don't always develop symptoms immediately, but it's always good to keep an eye out for some signs. A dog with diarrhea or vomiting, for example, is already an indication that something is not going well with his health, but these are very generic symptoms that can be related to several other diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to pay certain attention when the dog presents:

- Jaundice (yellowing of the mucous membranes)

- Weakness

- Tremors

- Total or partial paralysis of movement

- Seizures

- Lethargy

- Lack of appetite

- Abdominal pain

The manifestations of the disease will depend mainly on the tissue that has suffered the lesion and the severity of the situation. As toxoplasmosis parasites in dogs can affect different organs, it is necessary to undergo a clinical evaluation with the veterinarian after noticing any of the symptoms described above.

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Learn how toxoplasmosis is diagnosed in dogs

If there is any suspicion of the disease, the guardian should take the dog for a veterinary consultation as soon as possible. Only then can the correct diagnosis be obtained and then the treatment started. In addition to observing the clinical signs, the veterinarian will probably order a series of tests to confirm the suspicion of toxoplasmosis in dogs. The serology test, for example, is able toto identify whether the canine organism has been in contact with the parasite and has produced antibodies to fight the infection. With the exclusion of other diseases - such as distemper, a disease that is easily confused with toxoplasmosis - the professional can proceed with the indication of specific treatments.

Treatment of toxoplasmosis: dog may need antibiotics and other drugs to recover

To treat toxoplasmosis in dogs, the doctor needs to evaluate each case in a particular way and according to the region that has been affected by the disease. But in general, veterinarians recommend the use of antibiotics for a few weeks, a necessary measure to control the infection, in addition to other medications that will help improve the animal's immune system. However, it isIt is important to keep in mind that even with the treatment, the parasites are not completely eliminated from the host's body, and therefore there may be a chance of a recurrence of toxoplasmosis. Puppy needs regular consultations with a professional to ensure that there has been no new contamination.

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How to prevent toxoplasmosis in dogs?

It is entirely possible to prevent toxoplasmosis in dogs with a few basic precautions. The first of these is to avoid eating raw meat, as there is a risk that the dog will ingest contaminated food. Therefore, cooking any meat is essential before offering it to your four-legged friend.

Apart from that, it is important to avoid that the dog has direct contact with cat feces or with surfaces contaminated by the eggs of the parasites. After the walk, clean the paws very well and even the hair (in the case of dogs that like to roll on the floor) just in case. For those who live with a cat and dog in the same house, it is necessary to establish a limit so that the dog does not have a cat or a dog.access to the animal's litter box.

Tracy Wilkins

Jeremy Cruz is a passionate animal lover and dedicated pet parent. With a background in veterinary medicine, Jeremy has spent years working alongside veterinarians, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience in caring for dogs and cats. His genuine love for animals and commitment to their well-being led him to create the blog Everything you need to know about dogs and cats, where he shares expert advice from veterinarians, owners, and respected experts in the field, including Tracy Wilkins. By combining his expertise in veterinary medicine with insights from other respected professionals, Jeremy aims to provide a comprehensive resource for pet owners, helping them understand and address their beloved pets' needs. Whether it's training tips, health advice, or simply spreading awareness about animal welfare, Jeremy's blog has become a go-to source for pet enthusiasts seeking reliable and compassionate information. Through his writing, Jeremy hopes to inspire others to become more responsible pet owners and create a world where all animals receive the love, care, and respect they deserve.