There is no current consensus among veterinary professionals regarding the best or most appropriate treatment protocol for dogs that are diagnosed with bartonellosis and are showing clinical signs of disease. The goals of treatment are to resolve any observable symptoms, relieve discomfort associated with the infection and, hopefully, eliminate the infective organisms from the dog’s system.
Dogs that test positive for Bartonella - and that have compatible symptoms of clinical illness for which other possible causes have been ruled out - may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotic therapy must continue for quite a prolonged period of time, usually 4 to 6 weeks at a minimum. The attending veterinarian will select an antibiotic or combination of antibiotics with the ability to reach high concentrations inside cells. Even with appropriate antibiotic therapy, owners should recognize that their dogs may have recurring or persistent infections. In some cases, the signs of illness resolve spontaneously over the course of weeks to months, without any treatment.
The prognosis for dogs with bartonellosis varies tremendously, depending upon whether and to what extent the dog shows signs of clinical illness caused by the infection.