Educational Articles

Infectious Diseases

  • Pythiosis is the result of being infected by a water mold called Pythium insidiosum. This organism can affect the gastrointestinal tract or the skin.

  • As in humans, this is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a spirochete organism called Treponema cuniculi. It is a different spirochete from the human Treponema pallidium. Humans cannot get this particular organism from a rabbit.

  • There are 4 major infectious diseases seen in pet rabbits. Two serious diseases caused by viruses may occur in rabbits, although they are rarely seen in indoor pets. They are myxomatosis and viral hemorrhagic disease.

  • Rabies is a viral disease that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including cats and people, although some species are somewhat naturally resistant to the disease. When signs of rabies occur, it is an almost invariably fatal disease.

  • Rabies is one of the most devastating viral diseases affecting mammals, including dogs and humans. The danger of a bite from a rabid dog was described in writings dated from the 23rd century BC.

  • Ringworm is the common name given to a fungal infection of the superficial layers of the skin, hair, and nails. The common name of ringworm is somewhat misleading, in that it is not an infection caused by a worm, and the infected areas are not always ring-shaped. Ringworm can be challenging to detect in cats, since the lesions of ringworm may be very mild or even undetectable.

  • Ringworm is the common name given to a fungal infection of the superficial layers of the skin, hair, and nails. The common name of ringworm is somewhat misleading, in that it is not an infection caused by a worm, and the infected areas are not always ring-shaped. In the dog, ringworm lesions usually appear as areas of hair loss (alopecia) that are roughly circular.

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a disease caused by an infectious organism with the scientific name of Rickettsia rickettsii. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever occurs in North, South, and Central America.

  • Roundworms are parasites that live freely in the intestine, feeding off of partially digested intestinal contents. Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina are two important species of roundworms in dogs. Infected dogs shed the microscopic roundworm eggs in their feces. Other dogs may become infected by sniffing or licking infected feces. There are many safe and effective preparations available to kill adult roundworms in the intestine.

  • Despite sounding like a toxicity, salmon poisoning is actually an infection. Salmon poisoning is caused by a type of bacteria found within parasitic flatworms that infect the tissues of wild fish found in coastal streams of the Pacific Northwest.