Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your dog.

Bartonellosis in Dogs

Bartonellosis is spread by fleas and ticks.

Bartonellosis is a condition in dogs that is caused by Bartonella bacteria. It's commonly called cat scratch fever, but it isn't always caused by a cat scratch or bite. The bacteria can infect dogs through flea, lice, and tick bites.

Bartonellosis is zoonotic, which means that humans can contract the condition from animals. It's not usually serious in people, except for those who are immunocompromised.

Signs of Bartonellosis in Dogs

Dogs with Bartonella infection may show some or all of the following signs:

  • Fever
  • Limping
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Red eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Seizures
  • Neurological signs

Diagnosis of Bartonellosis in Dogs

The signs of bartonellosis can be vague and overlap with those of many other conditions. The veterinarian will start with a thorough physical exam and some basic blood work, which will probably reveal signs of inflammation and infection.

A special test done at a lab can identify antibodies to Bartonella present in the blood.

Treatment of Bartonellosis in Dogs

Dogs are treated for bartonellosis with antibiotic therapy. There is no specific protocol, so your vet may choose broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy and adjust based on response.

Other types of supportive care, like IV fluids, pain meds, and anti-seizure medications, may be necessary depending on the dog's individual signs of illness.

Bartonellosis is best prevented by using a strong flea and tick prevention protocol. Your vet is best-suited to help you determine the most effective protocol for your dog and geographic area.

Bartonellosis in People

Most of the time, people contract bartonellosis through cat scratches and bites or dog bites. It is usually a self-limiting, flu-like condition in humans unless the person is immunocompromised.

You May Also Like These Articles:

Watch Out for Ticks This Year

How To Remove Ticks

How to Find Ticks on Your Dog

Lyme Disease in Dogs

Ehrlichiosis in Dogs


Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at DogHealth.com is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site. Just Answer is an external service not affiliated with DogHealth.com.