Educational Articles

Parasites

  • Sarcoptic mange is caused by a parasitic mite that burrows just beneath the surface of the skin, Sarcoptes scabiei. The mite feeds on material in and on the skin. It is also known as scabies and is a zoonotic disease or a disease transmissible from pets to people.

  • Mites are small insect parasites that can cause serious skin problems for your guinea pig. The two common guinea pig fur mites are Trixacarus caviae (sarcoptic mange mite) and Chirodiscoides caviae.

  • Unlike dogs and cats, parasites are not commonly diagnosed in pet birds. When present, however, they can cause generalized debilitation for the birds. Some parasites cause specific clinical conditions.

  • The common rabbit pinworm (an Oxyurid called Passalurus ambiguus) is an internal (intestinal) parasite found in rabbits. It does not cause a serious health threat to rabbits, but it can cause uncomfortable itching and skin inflammation or redness.

  • Common conditions of pet prairie dogs include obesity, dental disease, respiratory disease, heart disease, and parasites. Prairie dogs can also be afflicted with cancer and ringworm.

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

  • Common conditions of pet rabbits include snuffles, internal and external parasites, overgrown incisors, uterine problems (infections or cancer), and sore hocks.

  • During the summer months, pet rabbits allowed to run outdoors might be affected by a fly maggot infestation. Different terms are used for this but fly strike is a common one. Another is to say that the rabbit is fly blown.

  • 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 one of the most common intestinal parasites of the cat. They can be an important cause of illness, even death, in kittens. As their name implies, these are large-bodied round worms, averaging about 3-6 inches (8-15 cm) in length. They do not attach to the wall of the intestine, as some intestinal parasites do. Instead, they are literally "swimming" freely within the intestine.