Escherichia Сoli Infection at Dogs
Escherichia coli infection usually occurs in newborn puppies in the first few weeks of life, but dogs of any size or age can have it.
The symptoms of the infection come suddenly and can lead to serious complications, so it needs to be treated urgently.
Escherichia Сoli Infection at Dogs – The Basics
Escherichia coli infection can lead to sepsis, and it can also co-occur with parvovirus, which increases the risk of death.
Infectious diseases are especially dangerous for young dogs, puppies, with an unformed immune system. The risk group includes weakened, emaciated dogs, animals that are kept in groups under adverse conditions.
Escherichia coli infection in puppies is most often from an unhealthy mother. The immune system of puppies is usually supported by colostrum and antibody-rich breast milk.
When puppies do not receive colostrum or breast milk for any reason, they are at increased risk of contracting an infection.
Risk factors include: poor maternal nutrition, unsanitary environment, and maternal breast infections.
It can also be caused by contact with an infected animal or objects that have been contaminated by a sick animal.
This is why E. coli infections often co-occur with other infections, usually parvovirus.
The best way to prevent infection is to maintain proper sanitary conditions for your pet and ensure that your pregnant dog is properly nourished.
Less commonly, dogs can get E. coli infection through contaminated food or water. If the animal lives in a nursery, then regular cleaning is the best prevention of infection, as well as proper nutrition.
Eating raw foods and contact with sick animals can increase the risk of infection.
Be sure to practice good hygiene for your dog and yourself. Wash your dog’s cup after each meal.
If you have multiple pets and you suspect one of them has become infected, keep them separate. Also, wash your hands after handling food and contact with your dog.
Symptoms of Escherichia Coli Infection
The main clinical signs that may indicate the development of infectious diseases include:
- Lack of appetite
- Rapid heartbeat
- Malaise and weakness
- Low body temperature
- Bluish gums, nostrils, ears, lips.
If, from the moment of penetration of viruses into the body of your dog, clinical symptoms do not appear for a long period of time, the course of the disease proceeds in a latent form.
In this case, your dog is a virus carrier, secreting bacteria with feces, nasal, ocular outflows into the external environment.
Infectious diseases of dogs can occur in extreme, acute, subacute, chronic forms. Some infections, as already noted, proceed in a latent form.
Diagnosis of Escherichia coli infection
The speed at which a diagnosis is made will depend on your veterinary request and your veterinarian’s description of the risk factors for infection.
Your dog’s stool will be analyzed and your veterinarian will perform a physical rectal examination to check for abnormalities.
A complete blood count is done to measure red and white blood cells, as a decrease in white blood cells is one of the first signs of parvovirus.
A biochemical blood test will show if and how much E. coli is present in your dog’s blood. A urinalysis will show if there are any abnormalities that could indicate other health problems for your pet.
Escherichia coli infection – How to treat your dog?
If your dog’s test results confirm an E. coli infection, hospitalization may be required to stabilize your dog.
If your dog is dehydrated, IVs will be prescribed. If your dog has severe diarrhea, he may be severely dehydrated.
Typically, antibiotics such as ceftiofur, cephalexin, and cefpodoxime are prescribed to fight the infection.
The sooner an infection is detected and treatment is started, the higher the chances of success.
There is a very high incidence of E. coli infection in young puppies, and if left untreated, the likelihood of death is high.
The Recovery Period
Provide your dog with a warm and very comfortable resting place, possibly in a cage, for the entire recovery period.
Limit your pet’s activity and carefully control his behavior, make sure that he does not waste a lot of energy.
During this period, the veterinarian may provide nutritional advice for your dog, such as recommending bottle feeding if it is a puppy.
If your puppy is younger than six weeks old and the mother is not around or is infected, your puppy may need an IV drip of essential nutrients.
During the recovery period, your dog will need to be regularly tested to track the dynamics of recovery. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice a change in your dog’s temperature or any other symptoms.
Escherichia coli infection – Treatment cost
The cost of treatment includes veterinarian appointments, stool, blood and urine tests, intravenous drips if the animal has signs of dehydration, antibiotics, as well as veterinarian appointments and tests during the recovery period.
Escherichia Сoli Infection at Dogs Conclusion
For prophylactic purposes, in order to prevent a dog from contracting infectious diseases, it is very important to vaccinate in a timely manner using complex, monovaccines.
In the future, for preventive purposes, you need to adhere to the vaccination schedule established by your veterinarian.
Without fail, your dog must be vaccinated against distemper, enteritis, leptospirosis, rabies.
Escherichia Сoli Infection at Dogs Final Words
It is equally important to monitor the dog’s health, provide comfortable conditions for your pet, and pay attention to the dog’s diet.
On walks, while resting with your dog in the countryside or nature, do not allow your dog to come into contact with stray animals that may be latent carriers of dangerous infectious diseases.
And of course, special attention must be paid to your dog’s diet, to create the most favorable, comfortable living conditions.