Bartonellosis: Dogs

(Canine Bartonellosis)

An infection from the various Bartonella species or subspecies in domestic dogs can cause a wide spectrum of clinical signs, ranging from symptom-free to severe clinical manifestations.

Clinical Signs & symptoms:

  • Pyrexia (fever)
  • Endocarditis (inflammation of the inner lining of the heart)
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heart beat)
  • Cardiopulmonary decompensation (circulatory disorder of the heart)
  • Granulomatous hepatitis (a liver disorder)
  • Granulomatous lymphadenitis (a disorder of the lymph nodes)
  • Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
  • Anaemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Neurological dysfunction

Diagnostic Tests

Indirect Fluorescent Antibody (IFA) assay
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

Serology has its limitations because it cannot differentiate between previous exposure and current active infection.


Generally Doxycycline, Amoxicillin, Clavulanate-Amoxicillin combination, Enrofloxacin, and Azithromycin are effective.

Regardless of the antibiotic used, a long duration of treatment (4-6 weeks) may be necessary to eliminate infection. Macrolides best represent the oral antibiotic treatments of choice. Fluoroquinolones, alone or in combination with Amoxicillin, have proved fairly effective in dogs. Doxycycline is used in the treatment of certain Bartonella species. However, data from experimentally and naturally infected cats indicates that a high dose (10mg/kg q12h for 4-6 weeks) may also be necessary to eradicate infection of Bartonella henselae in both dogs and cats.

Medical Abbreviations

by mouth
every 8 hours
every 12 hours
every 24 hours


There is currently no vaccine against Bartonellosis available for dogs in the UK.


Further Information

Bartonellosis in Cats

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