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Bacterial Infections in Dogs – What Is It, How Are They Caused, And How to Treat It?

September 12, 2022

If your dog has recently been diagnosed with a bacterial infection making sure he receives the proper care is crucial. There are many different types of bacterial infections, and depending on the specific variety will determine which treatment method is needed. The sooner you take this step, the sooner your fur-legged friend will begin to look and feel himself again.

What Is a Bacterial Infection?

A bacterial infection occurs when bacteria enter the body, increase in number, and cause a reaction in the body. The infection can take place anywhere in your dog’s body and quickly spread to other areas. The most common entry points take place through a scrape, cut or open wound, which allows a direct entryway into his body. Occasionally, the pathway can take place through their nose, eyes, and other areas that are made of mucus membranes. After bacteria enter your dog, it finds their way into the bloodstream, which results in a sick dog.

Frequently Asked Question

What are the most commonly documented reasons why a dog suffers from a bacterial infection? Have a weakened immune system: Dogs that suffer from other health issues that compromise their immune system tend to contract bacterial infections easier. With a weak immune system, fighting off things such as bacteria is more challenging.

Unbalanced diet: Dogs that are fed diets that are not balanced and fail to provide the basic nutrients a dog needs run the risk of not being able to defend themselves from infection. Good quality food is crucial in a dog’s health.

Poor hygiene: Dogs like to play and while doing so often find themselves with small abrasions and scratches. If these small wounds are not properly tended to and cleaned, bacteria can enter them, leading to infection. Some of the wounds are so small that you may only see them while brushing or washing your dog. Remember, even the smallest wound is large enough to contract a bacterial infection.

Dog’s age: Like people, age takes a toll on our bodies and leaves us more vulnerable to health ailments. An older immune system tends to not be as resilient as a young and healthy one.

Allergies: Dogs that suffer from allergies tend to scratch themselves excessively. The constant scratching can break intact skin, which will allow bacteria to enter their body. Making sure your dog is treated for allergies is a great way to prevent him from uncontrollably scratching and tearing his skin.  

Varieties Of Bacterial Infections in Dogs

Skin infections – Generally begin through a small open wound under your dog’s coat.

Urinary Tract Infection – When bacteria enters your dog’s urinary tract, an infection may take place.

Leptospirosis – Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that your dog can contract when coming in contact with infected urine from another animal.

Bacterial Eye Infections – Eye infections can also be caused by bacteria entering through the mucus membrane areas of your dog’s eyes.

How To Treat A Bacterial Infection In Dogs

How To Treat A Bacterial Infection In Dogs

The first step in treating a bacterial infection in your dog is to identify it. Dogs that are suffering from a bacterial infection may not have an appetite or desire for water, may show signs of exhaustion, not want to go outside, and tend to lay around more than usual. If your dog has a bacterial infection consulting with your veterinarian as soon as possible is recommended. A veterinarian is able to further examine the dog, run tests if needed, and prescribe antibiotics which will help combat the infection. In certain instances, if your dog’s infection stems from an open wound on his skin, special shampoos or ointments can be used to help rid the bacteria causing the issue. Although this type of infection is common in dogs, it is still something that needs to be taken seriously. Delaying treatment could lead to more serious health issues for your dog.

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