Amoebiasis is an infection caused by a unicellular organism known as amoeba. Amoebiasis can affect humans as well as dogs and cats. It is most often found in tropical areas.
Varieties and symptoms of amoebiasis
There are two types of parasitic amoeba that infect dogs: Dysentery amoeba (Entamoeba histolytica) and Akantameba (Acanthamoeba).
Usually asymptomatic disease
Severe infections can cause colitis, and as a result, bloody diarrhea
Hematogenous spread (spread throughout the body through the blood) leads to damage and failure of the leading organs. Symptoms depend on the affected organs; death is likely.
Causes brain inflammation. Lack of appetite, fever, lethargy, discharge from the eyes and nose, shortness of breath and neurological symptoms (loss of coordination, convulsions, etc.)
Causes of infection
Dogs can become infected by swallowing or breathing contaminated water, water from soil or sewers.
Akantameba may colonize animal skin or the cornea
Infection can spread through the bloodstream
Nose infection can spread to the brain
If an animal’s urine and blood test shows dehydration, veterinarians recommend the following procedures:
Colon biopsy, colonoscopy (examination of the colon with a long cylindrical region with light.) A biopsy can reveal damage to the intestinal mucosa, as well as trophozoites (stage in the life cycle of the pathogen.)
Stool analysis for trophozoites
MRI of the brain – can detect granulomas in the form of meningoencephalitis
Metronidazole has been used successfully to treat local inflammations. However, systemic forms of the disease (i.e., infections that spread through the blood) tend to be fatal, despite treatment.