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Dogs + Zoonosis & Human Health

  • Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease caused by the infectious bacterial organism Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It is transmitted through bites of the deer tick (also known as the black-legged tick) and the Western black-legged tick. A lesser form of anaplasmosis is caused by Anaplasma platys and is transmitted by the brown dog tick. Dogs with anaplasmosis often have many of the same symptoms as those with Lyme disease, and infection with both agents (co-infection) is not uncommon.

  • This handout discusses aspergillosis in dogs, an infection, growth, or allergic response caused by the Aspergillus fungus. If your dog becomes infected, it can be confined to the nasal passages (nasal aspergillosis), or it can spread throughout the body (systemic aspergillosis). The clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of both conditions are outlined.

  • Babesiosis is a tick-borne infection due to Babesia protozoal parasites. The disease primarily spreads through an infected tick's bite, but direct animal-to-animal transmission may also occur. Dogs typically present with the acute and severe form of babesiosis, characterized by abnormal dark urine, fever, weakness, pale mucous membranes, depression, swollen lymph nodes, and an enlarged spleen. The disease can be transmitted to humans through a tick bite.

  • Brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection that can cause a number of reproductive problems, including infertility and abortion in breeding dogs. Male dogs infected with brucellosis develop epididymitis, an infection of the testicle. Female dogs infected with brucellosis develop an infection of the uterus. The infection is usually diagnosed by a blood test (rapid slide agglutination test). Treatment with antibiotics is not significantly effective and infected dogs should be removed from the breeding population. In the United States, brucellosis is a reportable disease.

  • Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial intestinal infection usually acquired by exposure to raw meat, poultry or infected water but can be spread between pets and humans. Signs of infection are watery or mucoid diarrhea with straining, possible cramping, lethargy, and fever. Most infections are self-limiting and do not require treatment. As many asymptomatic dogs carry these bacteria, diagnosis can be difficult and includes fecal culture and DNA(PCR) testing. Treatment, if required, is based on fecal culture sensitivity results as the more common infective species are resistant to many antibiotics. Prevention includes good personal hygiene and keeping your pet’s environment clean.

  • Capillaria is a small internal parasite, often less than half of a centimeter in length. They are closely related to intestinal worms, though they can live in a variety of locations within the body. Diagnosis can be difficult because the eggs of Capillaria are shed only on an intermittent basis. While the parasite is easily eliminated with a dewormer, your dog may require additional medications to decrease the inflammation associated with the infection.

  • COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease of humans that was first discovered in late 2019. The illness is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, which is a new coronavirus that has not previously been identified in humans. Certain animals can be infected by the COVID-19 virus, but it appears to be an infrequent occurrence. If you contract COVID-19, you will need to remain quarantined on your property which may make caring for dogs a bit more challenging. If you suspect that you may have COVID-19 (with or without a positive test result), you should minimize contact with your pets. Just as you would quarantine yourself from the other human members of your home while sick, you should also quarantine yourself from your pets. If you are hospitalized and your pets must be cared for by a boarding kennel or pet sitter, inform the kennel or pet sitter that you are ill, allowing them to take the necessary precautions.

  • This handout summarizes Chagas disease in dogs. Caused by a protozoal parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi, it is spread by the bite of infected insects or ingestion of infected insects and rodents. The clinical signs of the condition, along with its treatment, prevention, and risk to human health are outlined.

  • The birth of a baby or the adoption of a new child is associated with a great deal of anxiety, excitement, and stress for not only the family, but also the family pet. Some dogs and cats can have a difficult time adjusting to these changes, especially if this is your first child, but preparation and planning will help.

  • One of the most common questions asked by an expectant parent or grandparent to a veterinary healthcare provider is how to introduce the family dog to a new infant, particularly if the dog has not been exposed to children before. The vast majority of dogs readily accept infants after an initial period of adjustment and curiosity.