Neospora Caninum Parasite in Dogs

      Oct 26, 2020 6:45:00 AM

      Neospora Caninum Parasite in Dogs

      What is Neosporosis?

      Neosporosis is a disease caused by the ingestion of the parasite Neospora Caninum. Neosporosis causes neurological issues but also may occur without any symptoms at all in its early stages. It is more commonly seen in cattle and other farm animals than it is dogs. The parasite lives in the intestinal tract of cattle and can be passed onto dogs after they ingest raw meat infected with Neospora Caninum.

      Symptoms of NeosporosisIndy 1

      Most commonly, Neosporosis is seen in puppies and younger dogs. Symptoms include:
      • Paralysis
      • Muscle Weakness
      • Skin sores or inflammation
      • Coughing
      • Decreased muscle mass

      How to Treat Neosporosis

      66443509_1605778629558289_6466042243831992427_nTo diagnose Neosporosis, your Vet will need to perform a blood test and spinal fluid test. While the disease lives in the intestinal tract, it will not show in your dog's stool. There are several conditions that can cause central nervous system dysfunctions, so your vet may also need to rule these out, especially those that have the highest risk for severe complications. Once your pup has received a positive test result for Neosporosis, the Vet will prescribe antibiotics. The sooner the diagnosis the better, and your dog will have to take the antibiotics for at least 8 weeks. The antibiotics will flush the parasite out of your dog's system, but the symptoms may remain. Many times dogs will not recover the function of their legs, but with physical therapy and the use of mobility aids such as a Walkin' Wheels wheelchair, your dog will be able to live a full and happy life!

      Indy's Journey with Neosporosis

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      Indy was rescued from the Humane Society of Maui. He spent most of his life in Hawaii where he enjoyed hiking, swimming, and hanging out at the beach. He was loved by all the local surfers as he would great them on their return to the beach. After moving to Florida two years ago, Indy suddenly started to limp one day. We noticed he was having a hard time walking on tile so we took him to the vet. At first we thought it was a orthopedic injury, but after x-rays and a physical exam, the vet was stumped. Indy’s condition continued to deteriorate and eventually he could not move either of his hind legs. We took him to a Neurologist for an MRI. Again, nothing showed up and we were clueless as to the cause. In a last ditch effort, the vet sent out blood work for parasites and it was then that he was diagnosed with Neospora Caninum.

      Not much was known about it as it is a very rare diagnosis here in South Florida. He was started on a combination of anti-biotics and we were told that there was a good chance he might not survive, and that there was a slim chance that if he did, he would never walk again. Most owners would have given up, but lucky for Indy, both of his parents are Physical Therapists. We knew how much help a wheelchair could be and that’s when we found out about the Walkin' Wheels wheelchair. We ordered a refurbished wheelchair that arrived quickly and he took to it like a natural! The Walkin' Wheels were a life saver for us and for Indy. Considering Indy is a 70lb dog, it was a lot of work to use a harness to bring Indy outside. He also required us to express his bladder which was almost impossible without two people.

      The wheelchair gave him his independence back almost immediately. It made it much easier for us to help him with his bladder. He seemed to get a second wind the moment we put him in the chair. Indy started running again and chasing after cats in the neighborhood. As he made his recovery, Indy's Walkin' Wheels made it possible for him to start using his back legs, even though he was too weak to fully weight bear on them. Now that his walking has improved tremendously, he is able to use all four limbs and looks forward to his favorite activity of chasing squirrels and playing fetch!

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      Tags: Conditions and Solutions, Pet Tails