Trichomoniasis in canines is a protozoan infection that shows up as diarrhea, sometimes with blood. It is usually associated with an unsanitary kennel situation for puppy dogs.
Prolonged exposure to a trichomoniasis infection makes for weak and debilitated puppies that have rough coats.
A veterinarian diagnoses Trichomoniasis by searching for protozoan cysts in a fresh stool sample. Flagyl (metronidazole) is the recommended treatment to cure and treat the problem.
The vet furthermore differentiates between Pentatrichomonas hominis, which is most frequently occurring from Tritrichomonas foetus through PCR, most commonly, or through a morphological comparisons. Pentatrichomonas hominis may or may not cause disease.
The parasite does take up residence within the descending colon and cecum. It divides through longitudinal binary fission within the cysts. The trophozoites form pseudocysts without a cyst- resistant stage outside the host.
Pseudocysts form when environmental conditions are unpleasant, such as too cold or hot though this may not be necessary at all.
The most common sign of trichomoniasis in dogs is chronic diarrhea that may last weeks, months or even years if left untreated. Diarrhea often times will contain blood or mucus. Large bowel inflammation and fecal incontinence may coincide with this as well.
What is unlikely to occur is urogenital tract infection, which is the one piece of good news in this infection scenario. Diarrhea may resolve on its own, but it is known and expected that it will recur months later. It may start in puppies at up to 24 months old. Though the average onset is at 9 months old.
Diarrhea does not appear to respond to dietary treatment either. The most likely manner that dogs actually contract this infection is through anal to mouth contact.
There is not an actual treatment that is approved though canine trichomoniasis seems to respond well to a course of Metronidazole of 30 to 50 mg/kg twice per day by mouth for anywhere from three to fourteen days.
This course of treatment appears to offer the best clearing of the infection when compared to other treatments.
The best method of treatment is prevention. Kennel attendants need to pay particular attention to the stool of canines in the kennel. Any one of them who appears to have a bad case of diarrhea with mucus and blood in the stool should be quarantined from the rest of the animal population until they are treated and the diarrhea is under control.
The basics are that clean kennels and clean animals prevent the development of a protozoan infection called Trichomoniasis in dogs in the first place. Second to that, quarantine dogs that are infected until treatment with metronidazle at a dosage of 30 to 50 mg/kg by mouth twice per day for three to fourteen days are completed.
At that point, the dog should be responding to treatment and diarrhea should clear up. Otherwise, without treatment, dogs will experience intermittent diarrhea for up to years of their lives. It is uncomfortable and unpleasant for the dog as well as the rest of their human family.