Campylobacteriosis In Dogs Has Recently Been Reported In The News
What Is Campylobacter?
Campylobacter infection or Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial intestinal infection caused by Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter upsaliensis. It is a major cause of human bacterial enteritis although it is considered a normal bacterium in the intestinal tract of many animals and birds.
How is the bacteria spread?
Poultry and meat products are the main sources of human Campylobacter infection. Humans usually acquire an infection by consuming contaminated raw milk, undercooked chicken or poultry, or other food contaminated during preparation.
Few human cases have been confirmed to originate from a dog. It is important to note that the significance of dogs as a source for human infection is not clear, and to reiterate, the most common source of infection in humans is contaminated poultry and meat products.
Dogs tend to become infected with Campylobacter by ingesting or coming into contact with infected feces, or infected food or water. However, the the significance of dogs as a source for human infection is not clear
In the dog, typical symptoms include watery to mucoid diarrhea, abdominal cramping or pain, lethargy, and fever. The diarrhea may last a week or more and often relapses suddenly after the dog appears to have recovered. Many dogs appear unaffected by Campylobacter infection and the condition is often self-limiting, requiring no medical intervention.
How to Diagnose Campylobacter?
A campylobacter infection is usually diagnosed by laboratory examination of a fecal sample. A fecal culture and sensitivity test is normally required to make a definitive diagnosis. This test is often performed in chronic, persistent, or severe cases of diarrhea that have not responded to conventional treatments.
How to Treat Campylobacter?
The two most common bacteria that cause Campylobacterosis, Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter upsaliensis, are resistant to many antibiotics. Erythromycin is currently the treatment of choice in dogs. Other medications may be used based on your dog’s condition. Your veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate antibiotic treatment for your dog, based on the fecal culture and sensitivity results.
“Antibiotics…reduce the number of bacteria excreted in the stool, thereby reducing the risk of infection to other pets or members of the household.”
Although antibiotics may not shorten the duration of illness, they will reduce the number of bacteria excreted in the stool, thereby reducing the risk of infection to other pets or members of the household.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after touching dogs, their poop, or their food. Take extra care that children wash their hands carefully after playing with puppies or dogs.
- Pick up and dispose of dog poop, especially in areas where children might play.
If you are concerned about your pet being exposed to Campylobacter, please feel free to call either clinic to consult with one of our veterinary staff members.