Bartonella is a bacteria which causes an infectious disease called bartonellosis in dogs; this bacteria is not exclusive to dogs, a cat can also be infected. However, such disease in human is named Cat Scratch Disease.
Although, cat scratch disease is hardly transmitted through a cat bite or scratch. Moreover, dogs contract Bartonella bacteria through contact with fleas, sand fleas, ticks, and lice.
Working dogs and hunting dogs are easily affected by this disease because they come in contact with wild animals or livestock.
What are the symptoms of Bartonella infection in Dogs?
This infection is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transmitted to humans. The symptoms of Bartonella infection have similar symptoms in humans and dogs, and some of them include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Loss of appetite
- Red bump at the bite area or scratch
- Altered brain function and seizures
- Vomiting and Diarrhea
- Inflammation of the eye (pink eye)
- Visible shivering
- Painful or swollen lymph nodes, especially close to the bite area
- Muscle pain
In addition, dogs may have other symptoms when examined by a vet, including lameness, arthritis, enlarged spleen or liver, inflammation of the heart or brain. However, a majority of infected cats are typically asymptomatic
Bartonellosis and Bartonella infection diagnosis
A dog bite usually causes the disease in humans from an infected in a dog. It is necessary to see the doctor as soon as possible if a dog bite causes the above symptoms
The veterinarian can achieve a diagnosis in dogs through a complete physical examination, followed with a urinalysis and blood chemistry profile and blood chemistry profile, and finally, test to detect the presence of the bacteria.
Several signs may be detected either through the blood or liver screens that point towards Bartonella infection as the cause of symptoms or through the physical itself.
Can Bartonellosis and Bartonella infection be treated?
The bacteria and the bacterial infection in humans can be treated with antibiotics that are specially designed to clean out the bacteria. Such antibiotics include doxycycline and azithromycin. The antibiotics are usually taken with a fluoroquinolone, rifampin, or clarithromycin antibiotic. The treatment also involves a thorough cleaning of the infection area, whether scratch or bite.
However, dogs that are vulnerable to this infection need to be placed on an ongoing tick and flea preventive medication.
How to protect yourself, loved ones and your pets?
These bartonellosis bacteria are common bacteria found everywhere, especially in areas where animals are prevalent, and your dogs may be exposed to them on a fairly regular basis; preventing tick and fleas from your environment, placing your pets on a preventive regimen medication are the best preventive measures you can take.
In addition, it is essential to screen for parasites directly on the animals from time to time. You can call your local pest operator to inspect your home of any pest that may put the health of your loved ones and pets at risk.
Furthermore, the preventive regimen of anti-flea and tick medication saves you the trouble of running to the vet every time you find a flea or tick on your furry friend.