Canine Bartonellosis

Canine Bartonellosis

Caused by the gram-negative bacteria Bartonella, Bartonellosis is an emerging infectious bacterial disease in dogs which affects cats and humans as well. For humans, this infection is also known as cat scratch disease, though this doesn’t necessarily mean that it was acquired through a cat’s bite or scratch.

For dogs, the Bartonella bacterium gets transmitted through fleas, sand flies, lice and ticks. Hunting and herding dogs are at a higher risk due to their increased exposure to these vectors. Of note to this disease is that both dogs and humans share a common range of clinical symptoms.

Bartonellosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transmitted between animals and humans. While it is not fatal for humans, it does pose great risks to immunocompromised patients such as those with AIDS or those who are undergoing chemical treatment.

What Are the Symptoms of Canine Bartonellosis?

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Lameness
  • Enlargement of spleen and liver
  • Swelling and inflammation of lymph nodes
  • Inflammation of eye
  • Irritation of nose
  • Cough
  • Arthritis
  • Seizures
  • Nasal discharge

What Are the Causes of Bartonellosis?

  • History of flea or tick infestation
  • Bacterium Bartonella infection
  • Dogs who live in rural environments have an increased risk
  • Transmission in dogs can be through sand flies, lice, flea exposure and ticks
  • Transmission from dogs to humans is suspected to be through bites

How is Bartonellosis Treated?

For dogs, there is not one well-established antibiotic protocol. Depending on the canine’s symptoms, a selection of different antibiotics will be made by your vet on a case-by-case basis.

How Can I Prevent Bartonellosis?

The most efficient way to prevent bartonellosis in your dog is to minimize their exposure to fleas, ticks, sand flies and lice.


At PAVG, we are always committed to making sure your pet stays happy and healthy. If you have questions about bartonellosis, please contact us at our following locations:

Chillicothe: 309-273-1909

Dunlap: 309-439-9522

Dunlap II: 309-413-0527