Despite their seemingly boundless energy and healthy appearance, dogs get sick, too. It’s common for them to contract bacterial infections via different areas of the body, including skin, ears, urinary tract, and kidneys. It’s never fun to see your pet in pain, which is why knowing the most common dog bacterial infections and their symptoms is important. The sooner you’re able to detect abnormalities, the sooner a veterinarian can give a diagnosis and treatment options.
Common Bacterial Infections in Dogs
Skin Infection – Skin infections are more easily detected than other bacterial infections due to the external signs that are present. Itchiness, crusted or scabbed skin, and pustules are symptoms of a bacterial infection of the skin. If the infection goes unnoticed and becomes increasingly severe, your dog could start losing hair or begin developing a dried discharge.
Leptospirosis – This type of bacterial infection is common because it is highly contagious. A Leptospirosis bacterial infection occurs when a dog drinks stagnant water contaminated by urine or fecal matter. If your dog is suffering from infection, he may develop a fever, but more immediately noticeable, he’ll vomit. There may also be flu-like symptoms of aches and pain and lethargy, as well as kidney inflammation that are involved. If not monitored closely when drinking from outside water sources, it’s all too easy for your dog to contract this disease.
Kennel cough – Kennel cough is a familiar bacterial disease that affects the respiratory system. It gets its name from how it’s typically spread – throughout groups of dogs kept in kennels or animal shelters. As dogs age, they may become more immune to getting this infection, but it is easily spread through sneezing or coughing.
Lyme disease – Lyme disease in dogs may not be as discussed among dogs as it is humans, but it is still one of the more significant bacterial infections your dog can suffer from. This type of disease stems from ticks. It can lead to fever, lethargy, anorexia, and other painful or uncomfortable symptoms. If you take your dog for a walk through the woods or through tall grass, then check both you and him for ticks afterward. Though small, ticks can leave a huge impact on the health of your dog, if not careful.
Bacterial infections are typically the result of a weakened immune system. Immune disorders can be caused by allergies or medical conditions like Cushing’s disease, kidney problems, or even cancer. A veterinarian will be able to assess the severity of your dog’s specific bacterial infection. In many cases, it is low-threatening and can be promptly treated.
Factors like poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, allergies, and other underlying illnesses could all trigger a bacterial infection. If your dog continues to be plagued by recurring infections, a change in lifestyle may help. Buying your dog healthy foods, regular walk and play times, and routine veterinary checkups are all steps you can take to help ensure your dog is kept in the best health possible.
Treatment for Bacterial Infections in Dogs
Skin infections, Leptospirosis, and kennel cough are but a few of the common bacterial infections dog face. Although you may have planned out a healthy lifestyle for your pet, it’s impossible to prevent germs or infection from reaching him at all times.
The best care practice is being proactive for your pet. For example, don’t let your dog drink from stagnant water sources. Maintain fresh, clean water bowls inside and outside, so your dog is never without a nearby source. Feed him a healthy diet free of preservatives or other unnecessary additives. Be aware of any changes in your dog’s appearance or behavior and notate them for the veterinarian.
By taking these steps in being proactive about your dog’s health, you can help stop problems before they start. However, if your dog does contract a bacterial infection, most conditions are treatable with medication. Speak with your veterinarian as soon as possible so your dog can get assessed if you think he’s infected.
In some cases, bacterial infections will clear up on their own, but for the ones that decide to stick around, it’s best to be aggressive with treatment and consistent with follow-up care. That way your dog can be back to his fun-loving self and feeling good again in no time.
- “Bacterial and Fungal Infections in Dogs.” Diamondback Drugs, Accessed 12 Jan. 2018. www.diamondbackdrugs.com/bacterial-and-fungal-infections-in-dogs/.
- “Bacterial Infection (Streptococcus) in Dogs – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost.” WagWalking, 25 Feb. 2016, Accessed 12 Jan. 2018. www.wagwalking.com/condition/bacterial-infection-streptococcus.
- Stregowski , Jenna. “How the Actinomycosis Bacterial Infection Can Affect Your Dog.” The Spruce Pets, Accessed 12 Jan. 2018. www.thesprucepets.com/bacterial-infection-actinomycosis-in-dogs-4133720.
- “Bacterial Infection (Leptospirosis) in Dogs.” PetMD, Accessed 12 Jan. 2018. www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/infectious-parasitic/c_multi_leptospirosis.
- “Bacterial Infection of the Skin in Dogs – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost.” WagWalking, 28 Apr. 2016, Accessed 12 Jan. 2018. www.wagwalking.com/condition/bacterial-infection-of-the-skin.