Chloramphenicol treatment for campylobacter in dogs

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Chloramphenicol treatment for campylobacter in dogs
Chloramphenicol successfully clears campylobacter. (dog image by Ramona smiers from Fotolia.com)

Chloramphenicol is a prescription-only antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections in dogs and cats. Campylobacteriosis is an intestinal inflammation caused by "campylobacter jejuni" bacteria. This type of bacteria infects both animals and humans.

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Symptoms

The most common sign of campylobacter infection is a watery, sometimes bloodstained diarrhoea lasting for five to 15 days. Dogs younger than six months are more prone to the disease, as are pregnant dogs. Chloramphenicol is recommended for intestinal tract infections resulting in diarrhoea.

Treatment

Traditionally, erythromycin is recommended for campylobacter in dogs. However, research at Ohio State University shows that chloramphenicol is more effective than erythromycin in removing all the campylobacter bacteria from infected dogs.

Dosage

Chloramphenicol is administered orally every eight hours for dogs at a dosage of 25mg per pound of weight. The duration of the treatment depends on the dog's response to the medication. Once started, a treatment plan must be completed.

Side Effects

Chloramphenicol is not suitable for animals that are only a few weeks old or for pregnant animals. In some animals it may affect the production of normal blood cells, and it can interact negatively with other medications. It is important to tell your vet if your dog is on any other drugs.

Considerations

Chloramphenicol reportedly has an unpleasant taste and owners may have problems administering it via food. You should inform your vet if your dog refuses it. It is also important to note that dogs should not be given routine vaccinations while taking chloramphenicol.

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