Symptoms and Signs of Bartonellosis in Dogs

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Bartonellosis

Symptoms of Bartonellosis

Dogs infected with one of the Bartonella bacterial subspecies may develop one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite (inappetance; anorexia)
  • Weight loss
  • Lameness
  • Nasal discharge
  • Nose bleeds (epistaxis)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Fever (often transient/fluctuating)
  • Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)
  • Enlarged lymph nodes (lymphadenomegaly; lymphadenopathy; lymphadenitis)
  • Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly)
  • Hepatitis (liver disease)
  • Heart murmurs
  • Heart arrhythmias (irregular heart beat rhythms)
  • Inflammation of the lining of the heart cavities (endocarditis)
  • Inflammation of the lining of the nasal cavities (rhinitis)
  • Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
  • Inflammation of the spinal cord (myelitis)
  • Inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
  • Seizures
  • Collapse
  • Sudden death

Many dogs infected with Bartonella show few or even no clinical signs.

Dogs at Increased Risk

Herding and hunting breeds reportedly have an increased risk of developing bartonellosis. Small and toy breeds have a reduced chance of developing clinical disease from this infection. These correlations are thought to be related more to environmental factors than to true breed predispositions. Dogs with weakened immune systems have an increased chance of infection. The risk of infection increases with exposure to ticks, lice, fleas and other potential carriers (vectors) of the infectious microorganisms. As a result, dogs that live in rural environments and that are free-roaming or spend significant amounts of time outdoors have a greater chance of developing bartonellosis than do indoor-dwelling dogs living exclusively in urban environments.

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