Natural Support for Clostridium in Dogs
Written by: Richard Rowland
Clostridium is a type of bacteria that can cause serious illness in dogs. There are several different strains of clostridium, and all of them can cause problems ranging from mild to deadly. In this blog post, we'll take a look at clostridium in dogs and learn about the causes and symptoms. We'll also discuss how clostridium infection is diagnosed and treated in dogs.
What Is Clostridium?
As mentioned, clostridium is a type of bacteria. It most commonly affects the gastrointestinal tract and can cause severe damage if left untreated. Clostridium is found in soil, on plants or objects that come into contact with contaminated soil, and in water sources such as streams, lakes, and ponds. Dogs typically become infected when they come into contact with clostridium in one of these sources, for example, on a hike.
What Are the Causes of Clostridium Infection?
The most common cause of clostridium infection in dogs is contact with contaminated soil, water, or objects. Ingestion of clostridium-contaminated feces can also be a cause of infection, so be careful if your dog experiences coprophagia. The bacteria are anaerobic, which means they can survive without oxygen.
What Are the Symptoms of Clostridium in Dogs?
The symptoms of clostridium infection can vary depending on the strain and how much of the bacteria is present. If your dog shows any of the following signs, clostridium may be present in their system:
- Abdominal pain
Aside from the symptoms listed above, clostridium can also cause severe inflammation of the intestines, an elevated white blood count, and "Leaky Gut Syndrome." The latter is a condition where bacteria compromise the wall of the intestine and cause harmful toxins to enter the bloodstream. However, it's important to note that many animals infected with clostridium have no symptoms. These animals become carriers of the bacteria and can infect others.
How is Clostridium Diagnosed?
If your dog displays symptoms of clostridium infection, it's important to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. In some cases, they may ask you to bring in a fresh fecal sample for analysis.
During the appointment, your vet will ask some questions about your dog's symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history. They will also perform a physical examination and may request blood work or additional testing.
A fecal smear is the most accurate way to diagnose clostridium infection. This involves taking a sample of the stool and looking for clostridium bacteria under a microscope. If your dog is infected, clostridium will be present in the sample.
How is Clostridium Treated?
Clostridium infections are treated with antibiotics. The type of antibiotic will depend on the strain of clostridium present in your dog's system. It's vital to follow your vet's instructions and complete the entire course of antibiotics as directed.
Enzymes and Chinese herbs for dogs can also help support healthy gastrointestinal function while your pet recovers. And minimally processed, whole ingredient diets can help support a healthy gut. In addition, vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant supplements, fatty acids, and medicinal mushroom extracts can all help support healthy digestion.
Following treatment, your vet may take another sample to ensure that clostridium is no longer present. If clostridium is still present, your dog will need to complete a second course of antibiotics. Thankfully, most dogs with a healthy immune system can recover from clostridium infection with the right treatment.