Can Dogs Get Parasites From Eating Live Goldfish?

by Deborah Lundin
    It's times like these you're glad you trained the "Leave It."

    It's times like these you're glad you trained the "Leave It."

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    That calming goldfish pond in the backyard may be your garden's focal point, but it poses a possible health risk for your dog or puppy. Coccidia infection is common in freshwater fish such as goldfish. Tapeworms are common parasites in goldfish. If your dog eats an infected fish, he's at risk.

    Coccidiosis

    Many dogs do not show symptoms of coccidiosis even after exposure to protozoa coccidia, as dogs develop immunity to the parasite as they grow. Puppies or dogs with underlying medical conditions are more susceptible to coccidiosis. Symptoms include diarrhea, blood in the stool, vomiting, appetite loss and dehydration. Coccidiosis is treatable with antibiotics, though recovery is slow and typically takes up to two weeks.

    Tapeworms

    If the goldfish your dog ate had a tapeworm infection, or cestodiasis, your dog risks infection. Symptoms include small, white pieces of worm in the dog’s feces or near the tail. Your dog may scratch his anus or scoot his butt on the floor as a way to itch the area. Once your veterinarian determines that your dog has tapeworm, he will administer medications that will kill the worms.

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    About the Author

    Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.

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