Small Animal Diseases

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Louise Pasteur, a Frenchman who was neither a physician nor a veterinarian moved into the spotlight to help find a vaccine for Rabies. He began the study of Rabies when two rabid dogs were brought into his laboratory. One of the dogs suffered from the dumb form of the disease: his lower jaw hung down, he foamed at the mouth, and his eyes had a rather vacant look. The other dog was furious: he snapped, bit any object held out to him, and let out frightening howls (McCoy 65).

Through the studies already observed, rabies was transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal, and that the incubation period varied from a few days to several months. Beyond this, nothing definite was known. Then M. Bouley, a professor of veterinary science, noted a germ or organism in the saliva of a rabid dog. Pasteur confirmed Bouley's findings by collecting some mucus from a child bitten by a rapid dog, and injecting it into rabbits. The results of this experiment ended with all the rabbits dying within 36 hours. This experiment established two facts: an organism was present in the saliva of rabid animals, and it could be transmitted to another animal or a human being through a bite (McCoy 66).

Further research led Pasteur to the conclusion that the rabies organism was located in other parts of the infected animal's body besides its saliva. Experiments on the skulls of rabid dogs shoed that the brain contained the rabies virus. Pasture then cultured some viruses from several rabid dogs' brains. The virus was then injected into rabbits. In every case the rabies would appear within 14 days (McCoy 67).

After several experiments, Pasteur went on to perfect a rabies vaccine. He first demonstrated to physicians and veterinarians that the rabies could be cultured from the brains of living dogs. Pasteur successfully proved that his antirabies vaccine could now be safely administered and animals could be vaccinated against the disease. Once the vaccine was perfected, Pasteur turned the task of finding a vaccine for human patients. After considerable research and patients, Pasteur eventually developed a human vaccine against rabies. The vaccine would be given through a system of inculcations and would prevent the disease in a patient recently bitten by a rapid dog (McCoy 67).

This system became known as the Pasteur Treatment for rabies. Although there is still no cure for this disease in animals or humans, the disease can be prevented if the vaccines are given early enough. The most recent update for rabies, is how the vaccination is administered. The vaccine now only has to be given every three years to animals who had already been vaccinated once when they were puppies or kittens. Coccidiosis is an infection of microscopic parasites called coccidia that invade the intestines of dogs and cats. The most common type of coccidia in dogs is Isospora canis, while cats are most frequently affected by Isospora felis (Vet Centric 1). Coccidiosis rarely affects a healthy dog or cat, but it can lead to gastrointestinal problems and death in sick adult animals. Puppies and kittens also are at risk for serious infection.

Animals that are affected by a coccidia may experience problems such as watery diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, dehydration, anorexia, decreased or absent appetite, abdominal pain, anemia, mental depression, and in severe cases death. To diagnose coccidiosis, a fecal flotation examination identical to the roundworm fecal exam is performed. Coccidia may be difficult to detect because these parasites are much smaller than the roundworm eggs and from all other eggs passed from worms (Vet Centric 1).

Transmission of coccidia begins when coccidia, are passed in the feces from an infected dog or cat into another animals environment, where they can develop and be consumed by another animal. Transmission also can occur when a dog or cat eats a rodent that has been infected with the parasite.

The prognosis for an animal...
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