What is Toxoplasmosis and how does it affect my dog?

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dog eats raw meat with toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma Gondii. Many mammals, including humans and dogs, can be affected by this condition.

Therefore, it is important to know well what it is and how it is spread in dogs. From Dogsis we will talk about common symptoms and how to prevent / cure it.

Index of contents

  • 1 What is toxoplasmosis and how is it spread?
  • 2 Can my dog ​​pass toxoplasmosis to a human?
    • 2.1 Main symptoms in dogs with toxoplasmosis
  • 3 Diagnosis and treatment for dogs with toxoplasma gondii
  • 4 Can it be prevented?

What is toxoplasmosis and how is it spread?

It is a disease that is not exclusive to dogs and that is produced by a protozoan parasite that affects warm-blooded living things.

Contact with a contaminated surface or infected cat feces is sufficient to contract this parasite, which can also be ingested by consuming raw meat or unwashed fruit.

Canine toxoplasmosis occurs when the dog ingests mature eggs of this parasite and these pass from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream.

From there they reach the internal organs and tissues, which undergo an inflammatory and immune reaction.

Although any dog ​​can acquire this disease, regardless of its breed, size or age, the youngest and those with health problems are more vulnerable to toxoplasmosis.

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dog eats raw meat with toxoplasmosis

Can my dog ​​pass toxoplasmosis to a human?

The answer is no”. People can get this disease but not by contagion from a dog to a human.

As with our furry friends, the main routes of transmission of toxoplasmosis in humans are: the consumption of contaminated food and contact with infected cat feces.

In most cases, toxoplasmosis does not cause serious symptoms and is neutralized by our immune system.

However, toxoplasmosis can be a risk to the fetus during pregnancy, especially when the expectant mother does not have antibodies against this disease.

Main symptoms in dogs with toxoplasmosis

It can present a great variety of signs and affect in each case differently. However, in most cases the main symptoms are:

  • Muscular weakness
  • Lack of coordination in movements
  • Partial or complete paralysis
  • Tremors
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weightloss
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Vomiting and diarrhea / stool with mucus
  • Respiratory problems
  • Yellowish color of the mucosa (jaundice)
  • Inflammation of the middle part of the eye (canine uveitis), of the retina (retinitis) or of the cornea (keratitis)
  • Inflammation of the tonsils.
  • Seizures

If you see one or more of these symptoms in your dog or puppy, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible so that he can examine it well.

Diagnosis and treatment for dogs with toxoplasma gondii

In order to verify if a dog suffers from toxoplasmosis, the veterinaryn must previously perform a series of diagnostic tests.

Typically, after reviewing your medical history, a complete physical examination is performed. A blood test will also be required to evaluate various parameters, as well as a urinalysis and serological tests.

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The results of this analysis and the biochemical profile will allow knowing the state of health of the dog. and the most appropriate treatment in each case. If a more advanced diagnosis is required, the veterinaryn may need to take a sample of the dog’s cerebrospinal fluid.

If toxoplasmosis is confirmed in our dog, the specialist’s priority objective will be to control the infection in the affected areas and restore the dog’s immune system.

To do this, if the furry has severe dehydration, he will administer intravenous fluids and will probably also prescribe antibiotics. If the disease is already quite advanced, the dog may need to be hospitalized.

dog with fever

Can it be prevented?

Although it cannot be 100% prevented, if we take some precautions we can reduce the risk that the dog will become infected. For this we must take into account a series of tips. Mainly these three:

  • Prevents the dog from eating raw meat or food that is in poor condition.
  • Don’t let it get close to other feces, especially if they are from a cat. It is important to keep this in mind when you go out with him for a walk.
  • If the dog lives with a cat at home, do not allow it to approach the litter box and clean the container you use periodically.

Following these guidelines will make it more difficult for your dog to contract toxoplasmosis.