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Bartonella Infection in Dogs

4 min read



In humans the bite or scratched site is cleansed and thoroughly disinfected. In cases with swollen or painful lymph nodes, the lymph nodes can be aspirated to remove excess pus. Generally, this is a minor illness, similar to a common flu. Bed rest is suggested until the symptoms have subsided for preventing further aggravation of symptoms, and in severe cases antimicrobial therapy may be advised. Most cases resolve within a few weeks, and in some cases, minor symptoms, such as swollen glands and fatigue, may linger for a few months.


A well-established antibiotic protocol does not exist for the treatment of bartonellosis in dogs. Depending on the symptoms, a selection of antibiotics will be made by your veterinarian on an individual basis.


Living and Management


Immunocompromised patients (e.g. people with AIDS and people who are undergoing chemotherapy) are at a higher risk for developing more severe symptoms and should avoid being bitten by a dog. This includes rough play with dogs, and playing with puppies, which are prone to nipping.


The exact risk of transmission of this disease from dogs to humans is unknown; however, if you have been bitten by a dog, contact your physician for proper advice. The overall prognosis of this disease in dogs is highly variable and dependent on the clinical presentation of this disease. After the initial treatment, you should monitor your dog for any recurrence of clinical signs, calling your veterinarian if you see any untoward symptoms in your dog. Please note that as this disease has not yet been fully described and understood in dogs, full resolution of the disease after treatment may not be achieved.




The best prevention is to protect your dog as best as you can from exposure to fleas, ticks, sand flies, and lice.



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