Toad poisoning in dogs and cats



Toad venom poisoning is more common in dog than cat. Toad releases some poisonous substances bufotxin through the skin. More serious cases occurs if the dog catch or eat the toad. Sometimes the toad's poison gets into the dog's eye. Several species of giant toads are a serious threat to pets. The two common poisonous toad in U.S are the Colorado River Toad, found in Southwestern states from Arizona to Southern California, and the Giant Brown Toad also known as Cane Toads or Bufo Toads found in South Texas and Florida.


What are the signs and symptoms of toad venom poisoning?
If a dog bites or pick up a toad in its mouth profuse salivation and attempts of vomiting takes place. Gums become red and inflamed.This is followed by shaking and pressing of head towards a hard object. Fever, difficulty in breathing, weakness, diarrhea occurs. Heart is also affected causing heart failure. In severe cases death occurs.


How is toad venom poisoning diagnosed?
Based on signs and symptoms like profuse salivation, inflamed gum etc. It is also diagnosed by EKG showing abnormal heart rhythms.


How is toad venom poisoning treated in dogs and cats?
(a) Remove the toxin from teeth and gums
(b) Teeth and gums can be rubbed with a cloth which contains human tooth paste
(c) Wash the mouth with clean water
(d) Atropine sulphate at a dose of 0.25-0.5mg/kg b.wt s/c
(e) Anti convulsive drugs like barbiturates, diazepam
(f) Cardiac drugs like propranolol.


How to prevent and control toad venom poisoning?
(a) Control toad population
(b) Don’t let your dog roam outside during night time
(c) Train your dog not to attack the toad.

Spider bite in dogs and cats


Spider release venom during the time of biting. Spider are of two types- black window spider and brown spider. An adult black widow spider has a body of about 1/2 inch long. Black widows have hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomens and releases neurotoxic venom's which are 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake's. An adult brown spider has a body of about 1/4 to 3/4 inch long. Brown spider has dark violin shape located on the top of the leg attachment region with the neck of the violin pointing backward toward the abdomen. The brown recluse has 6 eyes arranged in pairs - one pair in front and a pair on either side and releases haemotoxic venom's .

What are the signs and symptoms of spider bite?
Signs and symptoms of black window spider- Redness and swelling at the site of bite and necrosis and sloughing of skin. The signs and symptoms of black window spider bites in dogs and cats are as follows-
(a) Sensory loss followed by increased sensitivity to stimulation
(b ) Rigid muscle
(c) Extreme muscle pain
(d) muscle cramp of the chest, abdomen, back, and other large muscles
(e) Abdominal rigidity without tenderness
(f) Rigid muscles followed by muscle paralysis
In extreme cases, death occurs because of respiratory collapse due to cramping of the muscles of abdomen or cardiovascular collapse.

Signs and symptoms of brown spider bite- There is increase in body temperature, weakness, joint pain, vomiting, seizures and swelling in the bite area.. The bites from brown spider are not very painful at the beginning. Initially there is small blister and this lesion becomes large with a central dark area and area around the necrotic tissue begins to weep. Sloughing of necrotic tissue takes place and leave a big hole in the affected part. Skin healing takes place but takes a long time and the scar is permanently.


How to treat spider bite in dogs and cats?
Treatment of black window spider bite-
Do not use tourniquet as it causes harms the circulation. The following treatment must be done.
(a) Ice pad application over the affected part
(b) Pure aloe vera to reduce the inflammation, and reduce the pain
(c) 1 mg. of Benadryl per pound of body weight to reduce inflammation and itching
(d) Calcium gluconate 10% at a dose of 5-10 ml i/v
(e) Anti convulsive drugs like diazepam
(d) Antivenin can be given.

Treatment of brown spider in dogs and cats-
Clean and wash the bite area with povidone iodine, hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine. As the venom is present in the site of bite, do not use tourniquet. The following treatment must be done.
(a) Ice pad application over the affected part
(b) Corticosteroid to reduce inflammation
(c) Antibiotic to prevent secondary bacterial infections
Dogs and cats recover from brown spider bite with proper treatment but it take weeks to recover fully.

How to prevent and control spider bites in dogs and cats?
(a) Do not allow dogs and cats to have contact with the spiders
(b) Remove spiders, webs, and eggs from inside the house using vacuum cleaner
(c) Close openings to avoid spider enter into the house
(d) Use pesticides with caution to kill the spider.

Ascites in dogs

What is ascites?
Ascites is the abnormal fluid accumulation in the peritoneum, that is, the serous membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity. There may compression of the diaphragm due to enlarged abdomen and thus interfere with breathing. It is common in dogs and endangers the dogs life in extreme cases, when large amount of fluid is produced or rapidly produced. In dog the ascitic fluid may go up to 20 litres.

What are causes of ascites in dogs?
(a) Severe liver diseases like hepatitis and liver cirrhosis leads to
decreased albumin production or by increased resistance to blood
flow within the liver.
(b) Congestive cardiac failure, cardiac insufficiency.
(c) Peritonitis- inflammation of peritoneum which causes leakage of
intestinal contents.
(d) Compression of mesenteric vein and lymphatic vessels by large
tumor and cyst
(e) Infestation of dog by heart worms causing cardiac failure.
(f) Bleeding disorder which might be inherited or due to ingestion of
poison.
(g) Malabsorption of protein and excessive loss of protein through
faeces.
(h) Retention of sodium due to renal insufficiency.

What are the signs and symptoms of ascites in dogs?
Swollen abdomen or abdominal distention will be seen in dog and it may assume a pear shaped appearance. Abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy is seen.The dog is anemic, pale, weak with sunken eyes and the ribs are visible very prominently. Dog refuses to eat food. There is increase heart rate and accelerated respiration rate . Temperature may remain within the normal range. Coughing is seen which may be due to heart disease. Breathing difficulty is seen in the dog and the dog is inclined to lie down.

How is ascites diagnosed in dogs?
Ascites is diagnosed by
(a) Clinical findings like enlarged abdomen, etc
(b) Urinalysis
(c) Blood test
(d) X-rays
(e) Biochemical profile.


How is ascites treated in dogs?
The lines of treatment for ascites are as follows
(a) Diuretics such as thiazide or lasix
(b) Spironolactone – potassium sparing diuretics
(c) Corticosteroid as supportive therapy
(d) Blood transfusion in case of ascites due to trauma
(e) Antibiotic is given in case of infection
(f) Vitamins and minerals to restore vitality
The dog should be fed with high protein and low sodium diet. Routine deworming of the dog. In serious cases, ascites is treated by “paracentesis abdominalis” where a needle or trocar and canula is inserted in the site between the umbilicus and pubis close to the linea alba. This is done to drain out the excessive fluids from the peritoneum.

Campylobacteriosis in dogs

Campylobacteriosis is a mild to severe enteritis in caused by Campylobacter jejuni or Campylobacter coli characterized by including watery or bloody diarrhea and vomiting. It occurs in various animals like dogs, cats, calves, sheep, zoo animals and man.

How is campylobacteriosis transmitted?
Campylobacter jejuni or Campylobacter coli is spread by direct contact with infected animal and also through contaminated food and water. Fecal-oral route transmission takes place. Dogs fed with raw or undercooked chicken and other meats are sources of infection. Houseflies can be mechanical vectors.


What are the signs and symptoms of campylobacteriosis in dogs?

(a) Watery or bloody diarrhea with mucus and sometimes bile stained
(b) Fever
(c) Vomiting
(d) Abdominal cramps
(e) Nausea
Symptoms in dogs generally last 3 to 7 days, but some dogs have intermittent diarrhea for weeks and occasionally for months.


Can I get Campylobacter from dogs?
Campylobacteriosis is a contagious disease and can be transmitted from dogs to humans, however the main source of infection for humans is raw or undercooked meat especially chicken , raw milk, contaminated foodstuffs or unchlorinated water.


How is Campylobacter disgnosed?
(a) Clinical signs like watery or bloody diarrhea, vomiting etc
(b) Microscopic examination of faeces
(c) Cultural examination- To isolate and grow the organism.

How is campylobacteriosis treated in dogs?
(a) Antibiotics like erythromycin
(b) Fluid and electrolytes- In case of dehydration and to restore fluid and electrolyte loss.
Feed the dog a bland diet.

How to prevent and control campylobacteriosis in dogs?
(a) Strict hygienic measures are to be followed(b)Dogs kennel should be kept clean and disinfected(c)Contact with suspected dog should be minimized(d)Isolation of infected dog from healthy ones and should be treated
(e) Don’t feed raw or undercooked chicken or any meat.

How to prevent and control campylobacteriosis in man?
(a) Wash your hands with antiseptic soap and warm water after petting, touching and feeding your dog.
(b) Do not allow sick children to play with animals
(c) Do not eat raw or undercooked chicken or any meat
(d) Drink water that has been tested and approved for purity
(e) Drink pasteurized milk.


What to do if your house have Campylobacter organisms?
Disinfect furniture, linen, premises, cage or kennel and all contaminated objects with iodine-based disinfectants, 1% sodium hypochlorite, 70% ethanol, phenolic dis-
infectants and formaldehyde.

Hookworm infestation in dogs

Hookworm infestation means attack of intestinal tract of dog by a nematodal parasite known as Ancylostoma caninum causing anaemia and serious diarrhea.Hookworms are blood suckers and has pairs of teeth on the ventral margin of the anterior buccal capsule to attach to the intestinal wall of a host. Each hookworm suck 0.8 to 1 ml of blood in 24 hours and thus cause severe blood loss.

Which dogs are highly susceptible to hookworm infestation?
Puppies are highly susceptible to hookworm infestation. It is usually fatal and can even kill the puppies.

How does a dog get hookworm?
Hookworm infestation occurs in a dog by ingestion of infective eggs or larvae through contaminated soil that contains Ancylosoma eggs and larvae. Transmission also occurs when infective larvae penetrate through the skin. In pups migration of larvae take place through the placenta before birth and through its mother milk after birth.


What are the signs and symptoms of hookworm infestation in a dog?
Signs and symptoms of hookworm infestation in a dog usually depends upon the nutritional state of the dog. They are
(a) Pale gums, anaemia
(b) Weakness
(c) Loss of appetite
(d) Dark black (Tarry) coloured faeces
(e) Bloody diarrhoea
(f) Vomiting
(g) Failure to grow or to put on weight
(i) Progressive loss of body weight
(j) Poor coat condition

If infective larvae penetrate through the skin then the following symptoms may be seen:
(a) Intense itching
(b) Bleeding of the skin
(c) Redness of the skin
(d) Skin become thickened and scaly


How is hookworm diagnosed?
Hookworm is diagnosed on the basis of the following:
(a) Clinical signs like Dark black (Tarry) coloured faeces, pale gums etc
(b) Microscopic examination of faeces.


How is hookworm treated?
1. Anthelmentics are given.
(a) Bephenium hydroxyl napthoate(Alcopar) at a dose of 200mg/kg b.wt
(b) Fenbendazole at a dose of 7.5 mg/kg b.wt
(c) Mebendazole at a dose of 100 mg/24 hrs. for 3 days
(d) Pyrantel pamoate at a dose of 11 mg/kg b.wt
(e) Tetramisole at a dose of 15 mg/kg b.wt
2. Blood transfusion in case of severe anaemia
3. Iron supplements
A dog suffering from hookworm infestation is weak and malnourished because the hookworm suck blood and also compete with nutrition .Feed the dog nutritious diet high in protein and fat.


In what way to prevent and control hookworm infestation in dogs?
(a) Strict sanitary habits to be practised in your dog’s area.
(b) Routine deworming should be done
(c) Deworm pregnant bitch three weeks prior to whelping with fenbendazole at a dose of
5-15mg/kg b.wt to minimize pre-natal and trans mammary transmission to pups.
Deworming should be repeated in 3-4 weeks in order to kill any developing larvae which have matured into adults since the previous worming.

Can man get hookworm from dogs?
Hookworm is zoonotic and man can get hookworm from dogs. The hookworm larvae burrows into the skin of the human foot or leg causing intense itching and itchy lesions.

What to do if your house have hookworms?
Eggs and larvae survive in the soil for a long time in moist soil and cool environment. Freezing, dry conditions and heat can kill the eggs and larvae.Sunlight can also kill it.Disinfect furniture, linen, premises, cage or kennel and all contaminated objects with chlorine bleach. Sodium borate can also kill hookworm eggs and larvae but it is toxic to dogs and so do not leave it in a place where the dog can eat it. Don’t walk bare foot through places where dog’s feces are present.

Salmonellosis in dogs

Salmonellosis is an acute or chronic infectious disease caused by Salmonella bacteria characterized by gastro-enteritis and septicaemia. It affects all species of animals, birds and human being.
Salmonellosis in dogs are caused by any one of more than 1000 Salmonella serotypes. The various signs and symptoms of salmonellosis in dogs lasts a week or longer . During that tjme of illness there is so much loss of fluids and electrolytes from the body that the disease becomes life threatening

How is salmonellosis transmitted in dogs?
Dogs gets infection from direct exposure with infected animals. Dogs shed Salmonella organisms in both their faeces and saliva and so soil, water and feed that are contaminated with infected are important source of infections. Infected dogs shed Salmonella organisms for very prolonged periods of time. Feeding the dog with raw or undercooked meat, pig ear dog treats, peanut butter etc that are contaminated with Salmonella organisms also transmits the disease.

Can man get salmonellosis from dog?
Salmonellosis is a zoonotic disease and so man can get the infection from infected dogs. Children and those with weak or impaired immune system are at high risk of getting infection.


What are the signs and symptoms of salmonellosis in dogs?
Signs and symptoms in dogs suffering from salmonellosis are as follows:
(a) High rise of temperature
(b) Refusal to eat food,
(c) Shock
(d) Loss of weight
(e) Depression
(f) Diarrhoea(Often contain blood or mucus)
(g) Vomiting (often with blood present)
(h) Lethargy,
(i) Dehydration
(j) Stomach Gurgling
(k) Stomach pain
(l) Spontaneous abortions
In rare cases, additional symptoms like joint pain, stiffness, swollen eyes may also be seen in dogs suffering from Salmonella infection.

How is salmonellosis diagnosed?
Salmonellosis is diagnosed on the basis of the following:
(a) Clinical signs like refusal to eat, vomiting etc
(b) Cultural examination- For isolation and identification of Salmonella organism
(d) Diagnostic test like FAT

How is salmonellosis treated in dogs?
Treatment for salmonellosis are as follows:
(a) Broad spectrum antibiotic like enrofloxacin, chloramphenicol, timethoprim-sulphamethoxazole,
(b) Fluid and electrolytes- In case of dehydration and to restore fluid and electrolyte loss
(c) Anti diarrhoeal drugs
(d) Plasma transfusion in case of severe endotoxaemia
Restrict feeding for several hours. After this, feed the dog in small quantity and frequently with food which are low in fat and easily digestible. If diarrhoea improves within 2-3 days, feed the original diet. Dogs should be given rest and its activity should be reduced.


In what way to prevent and control salmonellosis in dogs?
(a) Identification and isolation of infected animals from healthy dogs
(b) Don’t feed raw or undercooked meat to your dog
(c) Feed good quality food and store dogs food properly
(d) Don’t allow dogs to drink water from stagnant pool or pond
(e) Strict sanitary habits to be practised in your dog’s area.

In what way to control salmonellosis in man from dogs?
Wash your hands with antiseptic soap and warm water after handling dry pet foods and treats and also after petting, touching and feeding your dog.


What to do if your house has got Salmonella organisms?
Disinfect furniture, linen, premises, cage or kennel and all contaminated objects with bleach. Also washing at 55°C or 131°F or above kills Salmonella organisms.

Brucellosis in dogs

What is brucellosis?
Brucellosis is an acute or chronic contagious zoonotic disease transmitted from animals to humans. It is also known as Bang’s disease, Contagious abortion, Undulant fever, Malta fever, Mediterranean fever. Brucellosis is found in almost all the countries of the world. Brucellosis in dogs is caused by Brucella abortus and Brucella canis which are non- motile, non-sporing, small gram negative rods or coccobacilli. Occasionally dogs become infected with Brucella abortus , B suis , or B melitensis.

Which dogs are highly susceptible to brucellosis?
Dogs highly susceptible to brucellosis are closely confined dogs, especially at the time of breeding or when abortions occur. Both male and female are equally susceptible.


How is brucellosis transmitted?
Brucellosis is transmitted through breeding or oral contact with infective discharges like aborted foetus, discharges from genitalia placentas, semen or urine of infected dog. Fomites such as grooming kit, bedding's etc and insects, ticks, and rodents also carry the infected material within the kennel. Transmission occurs via ingestion of contaminated materials. Secretions from male dogs also transmits brucellosis.

What are the signs and symptoms of brucellosis in dogs?
Abortion, still births in pregnant dogs and failure to conceive after breeding in non pregnant dogs are seen in case of dogs suffering from brucellosis. Abortion occurs during the last trimester of pregnancy usually between the 7th and 9th weeks of gestation. Following abortion brownish mucoid odorous discharge are expelled from genitalia. In male dog there is swelling and inflammation of scrotum, infection of skin over the scrotum, inflammation of testicles, prostatitis. Male dogs usually become sterile. Eye inflammation and infection of spinal discs (diskospondylitis) which can cause back pain and rear leg weakness or even paralysis may be seen in both male and female.

How is brucellosis diagnosed in dogs?
Diagnosis of bucellosis is based on clinical signs like abortion of puppies, brownish mucoid odorous discharge and also on laboratory tests which includes isolation of organism, animal pathogenecity test and tests for presence of antibodies like Rose Bengal plate test, Complement fixation test, Milk ring test, Vaginal mucus test, ELISA test, Blood agglutination test, Rivanol and Mercaptoethanol test.


How is brucellosis treated in dogs?
There is no reliable treatment for Brucellosis. A combination of minocycline and streptomycin is thought to be most effective. Tetracycine-Streptomycin combination has also been suggested following tetracycline or ampicillin.


In what way to prevent and control brucellosis in dogs?
(a) Identification and isolation of infected dogs from healthy ones
(b) Disinfect kennel with Quaternary ammomium (like Roccal Rx), iodophor (Betadine Rx)
(c) Hygenic disposal of foetal membranes, foetus and uterine discharges
(d) Always test dogs for Brucella canis before breeding.


In what way to prevent and control brucellosis in man?
(a) Wash hands with antiseptic soap if you come in contact with uterine discharges,
foetal membranes, foetus
(b) Wear disposable gloves while handling new born pups
(c) Wash your hands with antiseptic soap after handling new born pups
Immunocompromised persons (HIV-infected individuals, cancer patients, or transplantation patients) should not be allowed to handle dogs suffering from brucellosis and also one should not consume unpasteurized milk, cheese, or ice cream.

Can man get brucellosis from dogs?
Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease and man can get brucellosis from dogs but the case appears to be rare.

Ring worm in dogs

The ring worm is a highly contagious superficial fungal infection of the skin, scalp, nails, feathers and hair affecting all species of animals and man. Ringworm also known as dermatophytosis is the most common zoonotic disease transferred from animal to humans and is found in all part of the world, specially in hot and humid areas. Ring worm is caused in dogs by Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes.

Which dogs are more susceptible to ringworm?
Young dogs and puppies are more susceptible to ringworm. It is also highly susceptible in dogs with under developed or weak immune systems


Which dogs are more susceptible to ringworm?
Healthy adult dogs usually have a resistance to ringworm. Young dogs and puppies are more susceptible because their immune system hasn't fully developed. Many dogs are carriers of ringworm but show no symptoms. They can, however, infect other animals or humans.


How is ring worm transmitted in dogs?
The ring worm is transmitted by the following
(a) Direct contact with the infected animal
(b) Indirect contact with fomites such as grooming kit, bedding's etc
(c) Dogs carry the on the healthy skin and transmits it to be susceptible animal
(d) Ringworm may also be transmitted through contact with infected soil or other organic materials.

What are the signs and symptoms of the ring worm?
The incubation period is 10-12 days, that is, about 10-12 days will pass before any lesions occur following exposure to the ring worm. Infected dogs remain contagious for about three weeks. In the dog, the skin lesion are mostly found in the face, legs, feet, tail and lower abdomen. The dog shows signs of itching and patches of hair loss can be seen in the dog. The skin lesion in dogs appear at first as pink spots or blemishes in the skin that are neither raised nor depressed. As the disease advances the lesion appear as circular up to 3 cm in diameter and covered with grayish scales in the center. However, these skin lesions in dogs are not always circular in shape. They can be spotted, oblong or oddly shaped Small pustules are often found in the lesion. Secondary bacterial infections or mite may invade the lesion which aggravates the condition and produces multiple lesions on shoulder, back and neck of the dog.

How is ring worm diagnosed?
Diagnosis of ring worm depends upon characteristic lesions. But for confirmation and determination of specific dermatophyte the following is done
(a) Microscopic examination- Skin scrappings, hair, nails etc with 10%KOH solution is examined under microscope.
(b) Cultural examinations- Clinical materials from suspected dogs are cultured on suitable media.
(c) Wood’s lamp- Ultraviolet rays are used
(d) Skin test- The fungal antigen at a rate of 0.1 ml is given sub cutaneously and the reaction is checked after 24-48 hours.


How is ring worm treated in dogs?
Clip the area close to the skin leision. Treatment of ring worm is in the following way:
(a) Anti fungal drugs- Griseofulvin at a dose rate of 7-20mg/kg body weight for 14-50 days
Thiabendazole at a dose rate of 2-5.5mg/kg body weight
Ketoconazle at a dose rate of 10mg/kg body weight orally
Nystatin at a dose rate of 10,000 IU/lb body weight
(b) Topical ointments like Lotrimin cream, 2% Miconazole cream, 1% Cotrimazole
(c) Antifungal shampoos or dips like 2% Miconazole shampoo, Ketoconazole, 0.5% Chlorhexidine, lime sulfur dips. Dips should be given twice a week and can be performed either by your vet or at home


How to prevent and control ring worm in dogs?
Currently there are no reliable vaccine against ring worm in dogs. To prevent and control ring worm the following must be practiced:
(a) Identification and isolation of infected dogs
(b) Clean and disinfect grooming kits, bedding's etc with bleach solution

Can man get the ring worm from dogs?
Yes, man, specially children can be infected with ring worm from dogs by touching, grooming or petting dogs. Ring worm may be passed from dogs to man and also from man to dogs.


What to do if your house has ring worm fungus?

Fungal spores live in the carpet, bedding and premises for several months. Disinfect the premises cage or kennel and all contaminated objects with bleach mixed at 1:10 on any surface that you can. One can also use 5%phenol or 2% formaldehyde, or 1% caustic soda.

Why does ring worm reoccur in some dogs after successful treatment?
Ring worm occurs in dogs sometimes after successful treatment in cases when the treatment is not long enough or aggressive enough to kill the fungus. It also reoccurs in dogs with under developed or weak immune systems.