Dog Diseases Caused by Bacteria

Some of the most well-known dog diseases are those diseases caused by bacteria. What is bacteria? Bacteria refers to a large variety of single-celled organisms that inhabit all corners of the earth. Antibiotics are an effective tool in treating bacterial infections, but some of these diseases must be treated early in order to avoid secondary problems that can be brought on by the progression of the illness; bacteria and viruses can go hand in hand.

Dog Diseases Caused by Different Types of Bacteria

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, one of the tick borne diseases, is caused by the Rickettsia rickettsii bacteria introduced by a tick bite. Symptoms vary dog to dog but often include fever, anorexia and low blood platelet counts. It is important to diagnose and treat early in the disease to prevent further complications and possible death.
  • Lyme Disease is another of the tick borne bacterial infections. Caused by the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi, it is introduced into the dog's system through a tick bite. Symptoms include arthritis, reduced movement and anorexia. Again, it is important to treat this disease early as progression of the disease causes severe complications and potentially death.
  • Ehrlichiosis is yet another tick borne disease caused by the introduction of a specific bacteria through tick bites. Symptoms include fever, low blood counts and inflammation of the blood vessels. Early treatment is important to prevent additional problems that can lead to death.
  • Brucellosis is a sexually transmitted disease found in dogs. If not treated early in the infection it can lead to abortion, inflammation of the middle layer of the eye and inflammation, swelling and frequent infection of the testes.
  • Leptospirosis is an infectious bacterial disease, passed between dogs through contact with canine urine. The spirochaete impacts the kidneys, liver, spleen and vascular system causing vomiting, reduced urination, darkening of the urine and fever. It is important to treat these bacteria early on as the infection can lead to kidney and liver failure.
  • The clostridium variety of bacteria is a common cause of diarrhea in dogs. One of the variety of clostridium causes botulism, or food poisoning.
  • Kennel cough, specifically Bordetella, is an infectious bacterial disease. While there are other kennel cough varieties cause by viral infections, Bordetella is bacterially caused and the only variety that can be avoided through preventive medication. Bordetella is easily spread between dogs and is typically found among dogs in shared quarters such as a kennel, doggy day care or groomers.
  • Staphylococci bacteria are the most common type of bacterial skin infection in dogs. The infection enters the skin, developing into an inflamed area, typically with swelling and tenderness. Careful attention should be paid to skin irritations as they can develop into abscesses or spread to other areas of the body.
  • As with any type of disease, bacterial infections should be diagnosed and treatment begun as soon as possible. Bacteria, if allowed to develop unchecked, can cause irreversible secondary complications and potentially death. Precautionary measures are best. For the tick borne diseases, examine your dog for ticks if he's been in an area inhabited by ticks. Remove the ticks and watch for signs of infection.
  • Get your dog vaccinated against Bordetella to prevent this infectious disease. Sometimes infection is unavoidable, but taking preventive measures that are available will help your dog have a healthy lifetime.