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Parasites and contagious diseases are a huge problem within overpopulated animal communities.  Here are some maladies we see most often:


Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor (CTVT)

CTVT is a type of cancer spread between dogs, usually while mating, but can also be transmitted from licking, sniffing and during birth. Dogs diagnosed with CTVT must undergo chemotherapy treatments for one month in order to fight the disease.

These treatments are very expensive at just over $100 per dog. Your contribution could help offset this cost and save the lives of many dogs suffering from CTVT in our community.

If you would like to support our fight against CTVT, please consider making a donation.

The best way to prevent CTVT is by sterilizing your pet. Stay up to date on our spay & neuter clinics so you can ensure the health of your pets!


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This is Franklin. He was rescued in March, 2022 with the worst case of TVT we have seen. 

In Franklin's case, the tumors developed on his penis. They became so large that he could not retract his penis and it became stuck outside. He waited in this painful condition for 5 months before we found him.

Due to the severity of his TVT, Franklin needed to have his penis amputated. 



Ehrlichia develops after a dog has become infected with Ehrlichia canis bacteria, which are primarily transmitted to dogs through the bites of brown dog ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus). Brown dog ticks can be found throughout the United States  but are especially problematic in warmer climates, which means that ehrlichia is also most frequently diagnosed in these areas.

During the the acute phase of ehrlichia, dog can present with symptoms such as: fever, lethargy, poor appetite, bruising, bleeding, and lameness. These symptoms will typically last for two to four weeks if left untreated. Many dogs then appear to get better on their own and enter what is called a subclinical phase of the disease, which can last for months to years. During the subclinical phase, blood work may reveal a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), but otherwise dogs typically appear to be perfectly normal.

The Ehrlichia canis bacteria is extremely common in the San Juan del Sur area, meaning that almost every dog we come across will test positive for it. This disease is very serious if left untreated. The best way to protect your pet against ehrlichia is to prevent them from getting bitten by an infected tick by investing in a high quality prevention medication such as Bravecto. 

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Mange / "Sarnas"

Mange, or "sarnas" as it is called here, is a painful condition caused by mites. There are two types of mange: sarcoptic mange (also known as scabies) and demodectic mange (also known as red mange or demodex). Sarcoptic mange is highly contagious and is spread easily in overpopulated areas. Demodex canis, which causes demoted mange is a normal part of the skin flora for dogs; however, puppies and dogs with weak immune systems are not able to keep its numbers in check and they can get out of control. 


Usually by the time dogs with mange are brought to us for treatment the condition has progressed to a horrifying state. The most effective way to treat mange is to give the dog a Bravecto, which kills the mites, and then give them regular baths with medicated shampoo. 


The treatment for advanced mange is expensive, as Bravecto costs an average of $50 (depending on the size of the dog) and the medical shampoo is $15. For this reason families are almost never able to cover the cost and we rely on donations to make these animals better. 


Mange can be prevented by keeping dogs and puppies healthy and giving medication to prevent parasites. 

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Canine distemper is a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs. Dogs can contract distemper through airborne exposure, direct contact with a contaminated object, or through the placenta. 

Young puppies that are not fully vaccinated and that have a not fully developed immune are the most at risk of contracting distemper. Once a dog has distemper there is little that can be done. 

In the past year, we have watched the community of San Juan del Our be absolutely devastated by distemper. Many families lost all of their dogs to this disease. 

To help protect the dogs of our community, we host monthly vaccination clinics where we offer free vaccinations to anyone who shows up with their healthy dog. Thi undertaking is very important yet it is also very expensive. Each vaccination costs us $6. If you would like to save a life by donating towards vaccinations, click below:

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