Behavioral problems associated with parasitic diseases

April 13, 2012

Dogs are man’s best friends. This may be an overused cliché, but dogs really do make a difference to people’s way of living. Haven’t you ever wondered why in spite of this fact many dogs are abandoned and many dogs are left in rescue centers? People who profess to love dogs would take one for a companion but once the dog manifests unmanageable behavioral problems would simply cast away the pet without much thought. Some breeds are really noted to have less than pleasing temperaments, some dogs do not respond well training. However, a lot of dog owners are not aware that behavioral problems can result from parasitic diseases.

Parasite infestations, both internal and external are the bane of existence not only of canines but of dog owners as well. External parasites not only mar the appearance of the dog but also cause infection. Digestive malfunctions such as loose stools are associated with internal parasite infestation. Aside from these concerns ear mites and flea infestation; roundworm and tapeworm infestation have caused the development of behavioral problems of the dogs. Incessant barking and whining, excessive digging and chewing are irritating behaviors of a pet. The dog may have an unaccountable penchant to eat stools as well. These unwanted behaviors are the common concerns of dog owners.

Dog owners concerned with hepatitis and distemper would have a puppy vaccinated. Oftentimes, deworming puppies is neglected. Dogs that have had heavy tapeworm and roundworm infestation as puppies would display signs of hypermetria. Dogs with this disorder have the tendency to have exaggerated voluntary muscular movements such as bumping into objects and submerging the nose when drinking. Dogs with this condition are noticed to have no long time memory so that housebreaking and obedience training will be a challenge. These dogs would also manifest a hostile and aggressive behavior.

Commonly, a dog with internal parasite infestation would suffer from digestive malfunctions. Loose stool however, would be viewed by the pet owner as failed attempts of house breaking. So what would an owner do? The poor pet would be rejected by the owner and relegated to the backyard. The same thing would happen to a dog infested with fleas or ear mites. A dog owner may fasten a flea collar, spray or powder the pet with anti-flea products. However, if nothing is done to the beddings, crate or resting area of the dog, the infestation will recur. This time the parasite infestation will spread al over the house and would affect the family as well. The solution… move the dog outside the house! The intense itch resulting from ear mite infestation would cause the dog to constantly scratch. Because constant scratching is very irritating, the dog again will be shut away. Once the dog is relegated to the backyard, the owner, in most cases will not notice that the parasite infestation has worsened. An owner will not be aware of the foul odor coming from the dog’s ears; will no longer mind the excessive scratching until behavioral problems evolve because of the isolation.

Dogs are social animals. They love to be with the family. When left alone for a considerable time, these creatures would suffer separation anxiety and this condition will be manifested by incessant barking, destructive chewing and digging. The dog may develop an aggressive behavior as well. These behaviors will cause pets to be rejected, isolated and worse punished by irritated dog owners. Dogs are wonderful creatures. Unfortunately, it is not possible to ask the dogs what ails them. These animals would depend on the owners for their well being. So what kind of owner are you? Are you one that takes the time to know what is wrong with the pet or one that would simply take the dog to a rescue center because of an unmanageable behavior?

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