Common Bacterial Diseases in Dogs (cont.)


Campylobacteriosis is a disease that produces acute infectious diarrhea in puppies. It also occurs in kennel dogs and strays-most of whom are in poor condition and are suffering from other intestinal infections.

The bacteria is acquired by contact with contaminated food, water, uncooked poultry or beef, and animal feces. Campylobacteria can survive for up to five weeks in water or unpasteurized milk.

The incubation period is one to seven days. Signs of acute infection include vomiting and a watery diarrhea that contains mucus and sometimes blood. The disease usually runs its course in five to fifteen days, but may be followed by chronic diarrhea in which bacteria is shed in the feces.

Treatment: Treat mild diarrhea. Keep the dog warm, dry, and in a stress-free environment. More severely affected dogs will require veterinary management with intravenous fluids to correct dehydration. Antibiotics may be advisable. Erythromycin and ciprofloxin are the drugs of choice.

Public health considerations:Campylobacteriosis is a common cause of diarrhea in humans. Most human cases arise from contact with newly acquired kittens and puppies who are suffering from diarrhea. Parents should be aware that puppies with diarrhea may harbor a human pathogen. Good hygiene is essential, especially for young children and people who are immunocompromised.

Coliobacillosis (E. Coli)

Coliobacillosis is an infectious diarrhea caused by the bacteria E. coli. There are some strains of E. coli that are not part of the normal intestinal flora. When ingested, these strains are capable of producing acute diarrhea. E. coli can be acquired from infected drinking water, food, or fecal matter. This bacterial infection is a risk in dogs fed a raw diet, unless excellent food-handling hygiene is practiced at all times.

This article is excerpted from “Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook” with permission from Wiley Publishing, Inc.