Bacterial Infections Affecting The Digestive System of Dogs

Some bacteria can cause gastrointestinal disease. The intestinal tract is home to healthy bacteria flora as well.

Campylobacter Infection in Dogs

Gastrointestinal campyliobacteriosis is a bacterial disease caused by two bacteria of the Campylobacter genus of bacteria. These organisms, with a number of other Campylobacter species can be present in dogs who do not show symptoms but are carriers. The disease can be transferred from animals to humans.

The common routes of infection are through exposure to the fecal matter of infected animals, and transmission through contaminated food and water. It is suspected that the ingestion of under cooked poultry and other raw meat productions are a source of infection. Water may be contaminated by wild birds.

The symptoms  include diarrhea, appetite loss, and occasional vomiting. The diarrhea seems to be more severe in young dogs. The diarrhea may be watery, streaked with bile, full of mucus, and sometimes with blood stains. It will last between three and seven days. It is possible for intermittent diarrhea to last for longer than two weeks. The animal may also present with a fever. The veterinarian will test fecal samples and blood samples for evidence of infection. Infected animals who are young, suffering a severe infection, or a possible source of human infection will be treated with antibiotics. Other animals with bacteria who do not fit those criteria are not usually treated with antibiotics as other organisms are likely to be involved which means that often antibiotic treatment is not effective.

Helicobacter Infection In dogs

Helicobacter pylori is associated with stomach ulcers, gastric adenocarcinoma and stomach inflammation in humans. However, while Helicobacter pylori has not yet been found in dogs, other species of the Helicobacter genus have been. The bacteria can cause a mild inflammation which does not show any symptoms. It is unknown if the infected animals are predisposed to inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, food allergies or ulcers.

The dog may have occasional vomiting. The veterinarian may need to perform several tests in order to diagnose the problem, including a biopsy of the stomach lining. The bacteria will be cultured in a laboratory to confirm the diagnosis. Several varieties of antibiotics are used to treat the infection but in many cases, the bacteria will reoccur. It is not known if this is due to reinfection or the failure of the antibiotics to completely eliminate the bacteria.

Salmonella Infection in dogs

There are many species of salmonella that can cause gastrointestinal illness. a salmonella infection can also cause inflammation of the intestine or sever septicemia, which is also known as blood poisoning. It is not common in dogs, but dogs who have become infected may then be carriers of Salmonella without showing any symptoms. The symptoms include diarrhea, blood poisoning and the animal may have pneumonia. A pregnant dog with a Salmonella infection is likely to miscarry. The disease is often associated with another infection or disease in adult dogs, exposure to a large amount of the bacteria in puppies, or hospitalization. The diagnosis is based on the symptoms that are being exhibits and is confirmed with laboratory examination and tests on a sample of fecal matter.

It is important for the animal to be treated as soon as possible if it is showing signs of blood poisoning. Antibiotics may be given intravenously, in addition to intravenous fluids. It can be difficult to effectively treat the intestinal form of the disease. The use of antibiotics in the intestinal form of the disease is not always recommended due to the possibility of the bacteria developing a resistance of he antibiotics, and the possibility of the antibiotic having an adverse effect on the normal bacteria of the intestine. The symptoms may disappear but the bacteria may still be present. Completely eliminating the bacteria is difficult in all dogs but particularly in adult dogs.

The owner needs to follow the veterinarian’s instruction precisely when treating a dog infected with Salmonella. If any medication needs to be administered then the timing of the dosage and the duration of treatment are extremely important in the elimination of infection. Salmonella can also be transmitted from dogs to human so it is important to avoid contact with the fecal matter of an infected dog.

Tyzzer’s Disease

Tyzzer’s disease is an infection which is rare in dogs but can affect many other animals. It is caused by the bacterium Clostridium piliforme. It affects young, healthy animals who have been subjected to stress, and generally occur in addition to another disease such as mycotic pneumonia and distemper. It is thought that the dog becomes infected through contact with carrier animals, or oral exposure to any infective spores that are present in the environment. It usually affects cell in the liver, heart and intestine.

The symptoms include fever, jaundice, appetite loss, inactivity, and diarrhea. The may be convulsions and coma before death. In order for the veterinarian to diagnose Tyzzer’s disease, a laboratory examination of tissue samples must be undertaken to detect the presence of the bacteria. There is not a lot of knowledge regarding antibiotic effectiveness in treating Tyzzer’s disease but some antibiotics have been known to aggravate the condition. Generally, infected animals are treated with intravenous fluids and some type of appropriate antibiotic.

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