Posts Tagged ‘diarrhea’

Hot on the heels of the recent spate of Hookworm cases, comes Coccidiosis, an intestinal infestation by the parasite coccidia.

Eye-shaped coccidia "egg" called an oocyst.

Eye-shaped coccidia “egg” called an oocyst.

Coccidiae are a protozoan parasite, so they cannot be killed through the worming medications that most pets receive as pups and kittens. Coccidiosis cannot be prevented through heartworm medications, either. For this reason, we always recommend fecal analysis, even for pets that have been wormed previously.

We commonly find coccidiae in pets that have come from a shelter, kennel or “puppy mill,” or pet store. In those situations, multiple animals may be housed together, making the spread of feces-borne parasites more likely. A high level of sanitation is required to prevent transmission of this microscopic parasite, and not all facilities are up to the task. 

Multiple coccidia oocysts clearly visible on the slide. Click to enlarge.

Multiple coccidia oocysts clearly visible on the slide. Click to enlarge.

Coccidiae are also found in the environment, so pets that spend time outdoors may come across objects contaminated with infected feces or consume small animals (such as rodents) infected with coccidiae.

Left untreated, the disease can cause intermittent diarrhea, weight loss, dehydration, and intestinal bleeding. In severe cases, pets may progress to vomiting, depression, refusal to eat, and even death.

When caught early, before severe symptoms appear, Coccidiosis is treated with a multi-week course of medication. Hospitalization may be necessary in more advanced cases, however. Pets can have recurrent cases of Coccidiosis, so vigilance is key.

******************************************************************
This article is not intended to diagnose or direct treatment of any illness or disease. When in doubt, take your pet to the vet!

 All photos by Jennifer Miele at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Read Full Post »

We’ve seen a spate of Hookworm cases lately, which afforded me the opportunity to capture the following photos of actual worms, rather than just eggs.
A pup was brought in to see us after vomiting the worms, which is pretty unusual. But what I caught on (digital) film proves the nature of these nasties. Check it out.
(Note: all photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

Hookworm eggs in vomitus.

Hookworm eggs in vomitus.

Hookworms A and B on a microscope slide.

Hookworms A and B on a microscope slide.

Hookworm "A" under magnification.

Hookworm A under magnification.

Section of Hookworm A under magnification.

Section of Hookworm A under magnification.

Hookworm A, with a bubble in its mouth, shows off its hooks. They latch onto your pet's intestinal walls.

Hookworm A, with a bubble in its mouth, shows off its hooks. They latch onto your pet’s intestinal walls.

Detail of the guts of Hookworm B.

Detail of the guts of Hookworm B.

Check out the fangs on this guy! Hookworm B looks ready for lunch.

Check out the fangs on this guy! Hookworm B looks ready for lunch.

Tech note: The appearance of the hooks identifies these worms as Ancylostoma caninum.

To learn about Hookworm infection in people, click here.

To learn more about Hookworm in pets, click here.

All photos by Jennifer Miele, at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Read Full Post »

Choose a high-quality probiotic designed for pets' intestinal health.

Choose a high-quality probiotic designed for pets’ intestinal health.

Have you heard of the nutritional benefits of probiotics? Did you know pets can take probiotics, too?

What are probiotics?
Probiotics are microorganisms (bacteria) that live in the intestines and aid in the proper digestion of food. The “healthy” bacteria also help to limit harmful bacteria colonies and boost the immune system.

When the beneficial microorganisms are depleted — due to illness, use of antibiotics, or another reason — digestive upset such as diarrhea, gas, and constipation can result.

Eventually, the healthy bacteria (also called “flora”) will recolonize — but that can take time. A faster, safe method of encouraging the growth of new digestive flora is through giving your pet probiotic supplements, such as Vetri-Mega Probiotic.

P1060246

We have used Vetri-Mega Probiotic with success in stopping diarrhea and promoting normal, healthy digestion in pets.

What is in the bottle?
Each bottle holds 120 capsules containing  several strains each of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (both are beneficial bacteria), along with an important prebiotic – fructooligosaccharides (FOS).

Wait — what is a prebiotic? 
Think of a prebiotic as food for the probiotic. The FOS in Vetri-Mega Probiotic helps the good bacteria to flourish in your pet’s intestines. In particular, the FOS stimulates the growth of Bifidobacteria.

If your pet has been experiencing diarrhea or constipation, your vet may recommend a probiotic supplement to assist in recovery.

Read Full Post »