What is an Amoeba Infection in Dogs?
Canine Amebiasis is an acute or chronic colitis, caused by bizarre, amoebozoan changelings called entamoeba histolytica and acanthamoeba.
They are peculiar, parasitic, unicellular organisms- surely your pup will not appreciate this fact.
They wreak havoc upon dogs and this infection is characterized by persistent diarrhea or dysentery. Sadly, these parasites main hosts are humans and primates.
Dogs get affected by accident, often after contact with contaminated water, food or feces infected with amoebic cysts.
Symptoms of Amoeba Infection in Dogs
Entamoeba histolytica can bring on the following common symptoms:
- Stomach cramps
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Watery Diarrhea with blood
- Dry spots or sores on the nose and legs
- General lethargy
Acanthamoeba can bring on the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle stiffness
- Breathing difficulties
- Eye and nose discharge
- Irritation of the head and face (pawing at the muzzle and eyes)
- incoordination, seizures
Symptoms of acute amebiasis
Most dogs with acute amebiasis won't experience significant symptoms.
- Severe abdominal cramping
- Watery diarrhea containing blood and sometimes mucus.
- If major organs are affected, it is potentially fatal.
Symptoms of chronic amebiasis
Chronic amebiasis is a long-term amoebic infection that invades major organs
- A persistent or recurrent sensation to evacuate the bowels (tenesmus)
- Intermittent or Continual, chronic diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Organ failure (in extreme cases)
Treatment Options For Amoeba Infection in Dogs
- Fecal examination for trophozoites (vegetative stage in the life cycle of the infecting organism)
- Colonoscopy - Biopsies of the colon may reveal damage to the intestinal lining as well as trophozoites
- Central spinal fluid (CSF) taps and MRI of the brain (for diagnosis of acanthamoeba)
- Treatment for entamoeba histolytica: Metronidazole (15–22.5 mg/kg/day × 5–7 days) or furazolidone (8 mg/kg/day × 5–7 days) has been suggested. Steroids may be given to decrease inflammation.
- For extraintestinal infections or symptomatic intestinal diseases, the drugs of choice are tinidazole or metronidazole, directly followed by treatment with paromomycin, diloxanide furoate or iodoquinol.
Home Remedies For Amoeba Infection in Dogs
- Encourage your dog to drink a lot of water by making rice water or adding some chicken or beef broth to his water.
- Without consulting your veterinarian, never give your dog human medications and many OTC medications that work well for humans can be toxic to dogs.
- When your dog has had one or two soft or runny stools, give your dog some time to recover by simply fasting for 12 - 24 hours.
- Reintroduce bland diet that requires minimal digestion for a day or two. Plain-cooked white rice with little white meat such as chicken or fish.
- Offer each meal in small quantities every 3-4 hours - consider 2 tablespoon for small dogs and 3 or 4 tablespoons for larger dogs.
- When your dog is feeling better, slowly reintroduce its regular food.
Prevention Of Amoeba Infection in Dogs
- Practice good home hygiene everyday
- Improve sanitation and hygiene and eradicate fecal contamination of water and food
- Hand washing and Water treatment have been shown to lower fecal contamination
- Check if there is any contamination of nearby water bodies as sometimes our pets drink water from that sources
Affected Dog Breeds Of Amoeba Infection
- There is no breed disposition
- Dogs from tropical countries with poor sanitary conditions
- Dogs that live in areas with poor sanitary conditions
Additional Facts For Amoeba Infection in Dogs
- This pseudopod-forming, nonflagellated, pathogenic amoeba depends on a host for survival.
- First described by the Russian doctor Aleksandrovich Löschin 1875
- These are cosmopolitan parasites as they occur throughout the globe
- Canine Infection is primarily through the oral ingestion of the highly resistant and infective feces protozoan cysts (found in fecal matter).
- The cysts have with variable virulence and are resistant to chlorine and various other chemicals
- They invade intestinal mucosa and result in mild to serious, ulcerative, hemorrhagic colitis.
- In acute amebiasis, Fulminantpersistantdiarrhea may develop, which may be serious or resolve spontaneously or progress to chronicity.
- They are microscopic, free-living, protist
- This pathogen is considered to be a severe threat to immune suppressed dogs than healthy ones.
- The organism ubiquitouslyexists within the environment and has been isolated from numerous sources. The cysts of this pathogen are airborne
- Once ingested, the amoeba can cause pneumonia in the lungs and vision-threatening keratitis with passage up to the olfactory nerves.
- They can also severely attack the central nervous system, causing a rare, chronic but equally fatal infection of immune compromised dogs called granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE)
When To See A Vet For Amebiasis In Dogs?
- It can be very concerning when your dog has Amebiasis and you will be really desperate you can be to find a quick cure.
- When your dog has just had one episode of dysentery or sporadic symptoms and is otherwise behaving normally, it's usually not a cause for concern.
- Access the severity of the condition, Check out your dog's bowel movements, and see if things clear up.
- Contact your vet right away if your pup has recurring bouts of diarrhea over a short time period.
Food Suggestions For Amebiasis
- Provide sufficient amounts of freshwater. Water consumption reduces dehydration.
- For healthy adult dogs, fasting is recommended by American Kennel Club (AKC) for 12–14 hours
- Once that period is over, Spoon out the dog with a bland diet of one part unseasoned, boiled, boneless, and skinless chicken breast with three parts plain cooked rice.
- Gradually reincorporate your dog's regular food into his diet.
- Lean Protein and Low-fat meats
- Boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast meat
- White Rice
- Potatoes and Pumpkin (canned or pureed)
- Mashed boiled potatoes, carrots
Your dog may have amebiasis and act fine. When it comes to your dog’s health it is always best to err on the side of caution. Any amebic symptoms or diarrhea that doesn’t resolve should be investigated further by your vet so that he can determine the underlying cause and recommend the most effective treatment.