When dogs eat raw fish in which the cysts of flukes are present, they become infected, and in a week the flukes are mature and are laying eggs. Salmon poisoning, one of the fluke diseases, is serious in the Pacific Northwest and southwestern Canada.
The symptoms of fluke disease are somewhat like those of distemper, except that the temperature is much higher 106° to 107°. The dog shows great thirst, refuses food and has an eye discharge. In some dogs, sitting causes swelling of the face. After a day of high fever, the temperature drops, and the stools become liquid and bloody. This and the effects on the organs cause emaciation and dehydration. In six to eight days the temperature falls below normal, and the dog soon dies. The mortality is high – 75 percent of untreated dogs die. The study has convinced researchers that the presence of the flukes themselves is not the cause of the disease, but rather that a bacterium associated with flukes is the actual agent of infection.
With one or two exceptions, the avoidance of feeding uncooked fish is an important precaution in the prevention of flukes of most varieties. If dogs can’t get raw salmon they are spared salmon poisoning. If they are not fed raw fish of any sort, they will not contract fluke is – eases generally. Among the fluke diseases, only salmon poisoning in dogs can be treated.
- The average size of the organism is between 0.03 and 0.08 inches long and about 0.011 and 0.3 inches wide. It has two small sucker-like formations one is present at the anterior side while the other is towards the body. The tegument of the fluke is spiny in appearance and the large oval structured testes are located in between the middle and the posterior part of the body. The ovary is rather small in size and located near the sucker of the ventral side. The genital opening is located just close to the ventral sucker.
- The incidence of fluke in dogs is common in places like in the North Pacific basin, extending up to the Columbia River Basin and British Columbia to the state of Alaska.
- It is a freshwater organism if not residing inside any animal. The eggs are hatched in running streams that penetrate inside the skin of the frogs, fish, and other aquatic animals. The fish especially the salmon and the trout are the common victims of a fluke. The young flukes reside on the walls of the small intestines of the fish. They stay freely on the snail’s tissues or the muscular tissues of the fish.
Infected dogs if left untreated can suffer from fatal diseases. So, you are advised to take your dog immediately after you realize that it is infested with fluke.
See more: Hemobartonella Canis
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