Bacterial Infection (Campylobacteriosis) Average Cost

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Average Cost

$1,600

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What is Bacterial Infection (Campylobacteriosis)?

Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease that causes severe diarrhea in dogs as well as in people. Campylobacter jejuni bacteria is the cause of this disease, which is found in the intestinal tracts of animals all over the world. The most common way for your dog to become infected with campylobacteriosis is through unpasteurized milk, chicken that is not fully cooked or any other food that has been contaminated with the bacteria during its preparation. Your dog can actually be a carrier of campylobacter infection without showing any symptoms or signs at all, but can pass the infection on to other animals and people. Campylobacteriosis infection is the most common cause of diarrhea in people.

Dogs can become dehydrated much faster than people can because they do not have as many sweat glands as people do, so it takes them longer to cool off. Because of this, it is essential to get medical help for your dog as soon as you possibly can. Other complications can be dangerous to your dog if suffering from the campylobacteriosis infection, such as intussusception, which is a condition that causes one part of the bowel to slide into the other. This happens more often in puppies when they have extreme diarrhea that causes the intestinal walls to press into each other and results in an obstruction that can be fatal without immediate treatment.

The bacterial infection, campylobacteriosis, is caused by the Campylobacter jejuni bacteria that is common in animals and people everywhere in their digestive tract. These spiral shaped bacterium can cause diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, fever, and dehydration among other things. The illness is most commonly transmitted by poultry that is not completely cooked and can be a life-threatening emergency in the very young or very old.

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Symptoms of Bacterial Infection (Campylobacteriosis) in Dogs

The symptoms of campylobacteriosis can be similar to many other illnesses so the infection may go unnoticed unless a complication arises. Some complications such as dehydration, intussusception, gall bladder swelling (cholecystitis), and bacterial infection in the blood (bacteremia) cause individual symptoms of their own.

Campylobacteriosis

  • Abdominal pain
  • High body temperature
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

Dehydration

  • Loose and wrinkled skin
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Excessive urination
  • Panting
  • Depression
  • Drooling
  • Dry gums
  • Weak pulse
  • Sunken eyes
  • Collapse

Intussusception

  • Vomiting
  • Bloody stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shock
  • Death

Gall Bladder Swelling (cholecystitis)

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice (yellow eyes and gums)
  • Hypothermia (low body temperature)
  • Weak and rapid pulse
  • Swelling in abdomen

Bacterial Infection of the Blood (bacteremia)

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Rapid heart rate

Causes of Bacterial Infection (Campylobacteriosis) in Dogs

Puppies under six months of age living in crowded and unsanitary conditions are most at risk for campylobacter infection. Those with illness or other conditions such as parvovirus, Giardia, Salmonella, or any other parasitic infection are also at a higher risk of contracting campylobacter infection.

Diagnosis of Bacterial Infection (Campylobacteriosis) in Dogs

The diagnosis for campylobacteriosis is pretty simple (a fecal swab and stool sample), but your veterinarian will still need to know your dog’s complete history as well as any recent illnesses or injuries your dog has had recently. The veterinarian will need to check your dog’s body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, energy level, abdomen, and spleen while waiting for the results to get finished. Some of the important information your veterinarian will need to know is the symptoms, exposure to other dogs (i.e. parks, doggie day care), if he has eaten any foreign substances or trash, changes in food, and if you have done any traveling with your dog.

To see if there are any underlying illnesses or disease, a number of tests may also be performed, such as complete blood count (CBC), electrolyte panel, urinalysis, bacterial culture, fungal swab, blood glucose, kidney, liver, and pancreatic function tests, digital radiographs (x-rays), ultrasound, and possibly an endoscopy to see the intestinal tract.

Treatment of Bacterial Infection (Campylobacteriosis) in Dogs

The first thing your veterinarian will do, possibly even before running any diagnostic tests, is IV fluid therapy to replenish the fluid levels if your dog is dehydrated. If the condition is severe, the veterinarian may hospitalize him overnight to get control of the diarrhea and keep your dog hydrated. The most dangerous side effect for most dogs with campylobacteriosis is dehydration, so it is essential to keep your dog hydrated, which may take continuous IV fluids until the medicine starts working. The most common medication used for campylobacteriosis is an antibiotic such as azithromycin or erythromycin for about three weeks.

Recovery of Bacterial Infection (Campylobacteriosis) in Dogs

During treatment, your veterinarian will want you to watch for any worsening of the symptoms and contact them if your dog has any recurrent diarrhea. Some medications can cause diarrhea in certain dogs and your dog cannot handle any more of that, so you need to let your veterinarian know if this happens.

As long as you catch the illness early enough, and get it treated right away, your dog’s chances of recovery are good. Be sure to watch your dog for signs of any complications such as dehydration, intussusception, gall bladder swelling (cholecystitis), and bacterial infection in the blood (bacteremia).

Bacterial Infection (Campylobacteriosis) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Si
Labrador Retriever
5 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

colitis

Medication Used

metronidazole

My pup was diagnosed with campylobacta fetus at 9 weeks of age, symptoms started after I had had him less than one week. He was treated then tested one week after finishing the course, no campy isolated. 3 months on, he has again tested +ve but the campylobacter speciation has not detected any of the pathogenic strains they can test for. We have been treating him with Metronidazole while waiting for the results,he has vastly improved. As he was obviously clear after the first course of treatment, I don't know how he has it again. If he is a carrier, surely he wouldn't have had a negative result? Neither of my other 2 dogs show symptoms nor any humans in the household.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2009 Recommendations
Campylobacter is a bacterial which can be found in many different places and many healthy dogs may have Campylobacter residing in their gastrointestinal tract without any incident; some scientific articles show that around 30% of dogs were found to have an underlying Campylobacter infection when swabbed rectally. If the culture testing doesn’t show a pathogenic strain, I wouldn’t be too concerned but it would be something to keep an eye on. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Harry
Standard Poodle
3 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of appetite, stretching

My vet has diagnosed Campylobacter in my 3 yr old standard Poodle, 2 months ago, he has no diarrhoea, is very reluctant to eat and vomits bile most mornings.
Please do you think he needs some treatment?
Margaret

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
514 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Campylobacter is a fairly common bacteria in feces, and I am not sure from your email if he was treated for his signs, or for his intestinal infection. If he wasn't treated, he should be, if he is still showing signs. If he was treated, and continues to have the same or different signs, it would be best to follow up with his veterinarian to pursue further treatment for his inappetance and vomiting. I hope that he is okay.

Harry was originally treated but only with Zitac tablets. We have made an appointment with his Vet tomorrow.
thank you for your advice.
Margaret

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Tj
Jack Russell Terrier
3 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Sleeping all the time
Loss of Balance
Loose stool

I have 2 dogs, 1-7months and 1-3years, the 7 month old has been diagnosed with campylobacter this morning at the vet. I will take the 3 year old to the vet in the morning to get checked, I am just concerned if the waiting until the morning is going to do more harm? I would have taken them together but did not realize it was a contagious issue and that the 3 year old had symptoms after we got home. I had to go to work, and was concerned that the time may do my 3 year old any further damage?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2009 Recommendations

A time delay of overnight won't be a big problem; there is a high likelihood that your other dog may also be infected due to the shedding of the bacteria in faeces. This bacteria can cause illness in humans as well so be extra vigilant if you have children or babies. Your Veterinarian may give the other dog treatment as a preventative measure. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My dog wasn’t diagnosed for two months she has been taking 5ml erythromycin twice per day for a month and is slowly getting better. I hope she will recover. The smell is terrible. Can you give a dog stomach pump?

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Daisy
English bull terrier
9
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My English. Bull terrier has campylobacter for three months and erythromycin for a month. Getting better but not gone. How long can she continue with antibiotics or would a stomach pump work?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2009 Recommendations
There are a variety of antibiotics which may be used, but there are different Campylobacter bacteria which may be sensitive to different antibiotics; culture and sensitivity testing would be valuable instead of just switching between different antibiotics randomly, however some dogs will continue to test positive even after multiple courses of antibiotics. Please check the link below regarding treatment and control. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.msdvetmanual.com/digestive-system/enteric-campylobacteriosis/overview-of-enteric-campylobacteriosis#v3261623

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Phoebe
Miniature American Shepherd
6
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My dogs have campylobacter in their systems diagnosed after taking a poo sample from them . How will my vet know which strain to treat? She has suggested a broad spectrum antibiotic which I cannot remember the name of but I know that it causes teeth to discolour/turn brown in young animals. I have a 1 year old youngster within my dogs. Will it affect her or the other adults in the group? Many thanks

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2009 Recommendations
The strain of Campylobacter will be identified on the culture of the stool; if sensitivity was done too it would indicate the best antibiotics for treatment. Any antibiotic which is indicated which may cause discolouration of teeth is still better that leaving an infection; you need to determine which is more important. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Simone
Standard Poodle
2 1/2 years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy.
Loss of appetite
SEVERE DIARHEA

My 2 1/2 year old dog was finally diagnosed with campylobacteriosis after having diarrhea for over three weeks. He started a 10 fay treatment with Bayttril (36 mg) tablets just today. ROM READING YOUR ARTICLE, i ASSUME HE IS CONTAGIOUS. How long will it be before he is no longer contagious to other dogs? We have company coming in 7 days with their pet.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2009 Recommendations

Simone will remain infectious as long as the bacteria is present in her digestive tract; also all areas of your yard and other places would need to be thoroughly cleaned. I cannot say how long Simone will remain infectious and I cannot guarantee that she will be non-infectious after seven days; after you have completed the treatment, it would be best to have a faecal culture performed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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