Amebiasis is a gastrointestinal disease caused by the parasite (protozoa) Entamoeba Histolytica that can cause amebiasis in dogs. This disease is more common in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. According to medical researchers, this disease is imported mostly from South Asia, South America and Middle East. It can affect almost all mammals but is more common in people who are living with poor sanitation. Its natural host is human and the main source of the disease among animals. Dogs are infected by this parasite through ingestion of contaminated food and water, they can harbor this disease from infected yards, lawns, parks, alleys and garbage cans contaminated with human feces containing dormant cyst of Entamoeba Histolytica.
Entamoeba Histolytica resides in the large intestine and will not give any signs of illness unless the animal carrying this organism becomes immunologically compromised or when the general health status becomes significantly low. Persistent diarrhea in dogs is the outcome of the inflammation of the large intestine, wounds and bleeding caused by this organism. This organism can also invade the skin around anus, liver, brain, kidney, lungs and other vital organs. Amebiasis can be fatal and can be a long lasting.
Signs of Amebiasis of dog include:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Difficultly during defecation
Amebiasis in dogs and humans can be diagnosed by the presence of dormant or active parasite in the feces, but if the parasite lodges in the internal organs, the parasite can evade any normal detection exams in the laboratory.
Medication for this disease includes:
- Anti protozoa drugs.
- Probiotics – beneficial/ good bacteria that can help digestion more efficient..
- Prebiotics – are high fiber diet or food that will nurture the probiotics.
The effectiveness of treatment has not been fully certified and evaluated so supportive therapy and promoting the animal health is very essential when combating the Amebiasis in dogs although dogs may shed Amoeba in the feces even after treatment as they are carriers of this organism for life.
The best way to protect our dogs against Entamoeba Histolytica is being clean inside and outside of our premises. To prevent and control Amebiasis:
- Use bleach when cleaning the tiles and garage.
- Clean the dog bowl always.
- Always use soap when washing.
With this kind of disease you have to be vigilant. Prevention is better than cure! Sadly, Amebiases in dogs don’t have a cure at all.