Advice to Veterinarians

Published on December 17, 2019 at 5:00 PM ET

  • Puppies under 12 months or dogs adopted from crowded environments or from pet stores who show signs of Campylobacter infection, including bloody mucoid diarrhea, should be examined by a licensed veterinarian who may perform a gram-stained fecal smear to identify Campylobacter-like organisms, and perform other diagnostic tests as appropriate.
  • Laboratory confirmation of Campylobacter infection can be made from a fecal sample transported in Cary-Blair medium, or a quantitative-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from a fresh stool sample, in consultation with a veterinary diagnostic lab.
  • Isolate puppies and dogs with Campylobacter to prevent the spread of the bacteria. Campylobacter infections are often self-limited and supportive care is often the only treatment needed.
  • If laboratory testing confirms Campylobacter infection, the puppy or dog has hemorrhagic diarrhea or a fever, and antibiotic treatment is warranted, the choice of antibiotic should be guided by culture and sensitivity results. The antibiotic resistance profile for this outbreak includes commonly used antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones and macrolides. Campylobacter jejuni has inherent antibiotic resistance to other commonly prescribed antibiotics such as penicillins, cephalosporins, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, and metronidazole. Therefore, infections with the outbreak strain may be difficult to treat.

Thoroughly clean surfaces and equipment that have been in contact with stool from any dog suspected to have a Campylobacter infection.

Talk to pet owners about taking simple steps to prevent getting sick from their puppies or dogs.

  • Tell clients that dogs and puppies can carry Campylobacter and can make people sick. If the client or any of their family members are ill, encourage them to contact a healthcare provider immediately.
  • Direct clients to CDC’s Advice to Pet Owners.