Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic infection caused by protozoa cryptosporidium. The condition causes mild to severe diarrhea. The disease can be a primary condition but most often it is a secondary infection in dogs with weakened immune systems. The disease is caused by the ingestion of the intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium and is commonly ingested through contaminated water, food or feces. Young dogs, often less than six months of age, are more susceptible to this condition.
Although any dog of any age can be infected by cryptosporidium parasite, dogs with strong immune system only show mild symptom of the condition. Many such dogs recover spontaneously. Others show only mild diarrhea. However, immunocompromised dogs and very young dogs with weak immune system, chronic diarrhea and dehydration can be seen.
Fever and diarrhea are the most common symptoms of this condition with lethargy, exercise intolerance and poor appetite as secondary symtpoms.