Bacteria are unicellular organisms that reproduce by dividing. There are good and harmful bacteria. The good bacteria can benefit your health and the environment, while harmful bacteria cause disease and infection. Domestic animals as well as humans often develop bacterial infections and if left untreated these infections can lead to more severe complications of health.
The symptoms and signs of bacterial infections include:
* Abscesses in the skin
* Wound infections
* Lack of appetite
* Runny nose or watery eyes
* Infections of the skin, eyes, ears, urinary tract or respiratory system
* Swelling and redness
* Pain and discomfort
* Lethargy and weakness
What causes bacterial infections?
There are several types of bacterial infections affecting the skin, eyes, ears, urinary tract, kidney and nervous and respiratory system and these include:
Bacterial skin infections caused by Staphylococci (staph bacteria) and affect dogs and cats. Staph bacteria usually live harmlessly on the skin and as a result of itching, the infection occurs. Common symptoms include yellow pustules, scabies, skin redness and injuries. Fleas, ticks, allergies, weak immune system, stress, poor diet and underlying disease can all contribute to bacterial skin infections. This infection is not contagious to humans or other animals.
Streptococcal infections are caused by strep bacteria, and commonly affect cats and dogs. It is common among young and old animals because they have weak immune systems. In young animals, the immune system is not fully developed and is not strong enough to fight off the infection while in older animals have decreased protective mechanisms.
Staphylococcal infection is caused by Staphylococcus bacteria that can be found in the environment, in the upper respiratory tract of animals or the skin of a host like a parasite. It affects dogs and cats and is spread among animals and sometimes humans.
Leptospirosis infection is caused by spirochete bacteria and is highly contagious. It spreads to contaminated water or soil and urine of carrier animals. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, lethargy, redness of the mucous membranes and conjunctivitis. If left untreated, can lead to kidney inflammation. It affects dogs more than cats, and routine vaccinations are needed to prevent infection.
Actinmycosis infection caused by Actinomyces and bacteria normally found in the mouth. The infection of nocardiosis caused by Nocardia bacteria and found in soil. In both infections, the bacteria enter through a wound in the skin resulting in the lymph nodes to swell. This infection can spread to the abdomen or chest where the pus begins to accumulate.
Brucellosis infection is caused by Brucella canis is most common in dogs kept in kennels. This infection occurs during the breeding season and is most commonly spread through contaminated urine, vaginal discharge or a female dog semen. Dogs can experience fertility problems or develop prostatitis while infected pregnant females abort their fetuses or are cream, puppies die shortly after.
Diagnosis of bacterial infections
The diagnosis of bacterial infection in cats and dogs is based on symptoms, review of medical history and careful physical examination. Certain tests such as blood tests, cultures, skin biopsies, evidence of sensitivity or allergy testing can also be performed to determine the cause of bacterial infection. In addition, you may need other tests to eliminate other conditions.
Help for bacterial infections
Depending on the type of bacterial infection, and the overall health of your pet, your veterinarian may recommend various treatment options to clear the infection. Medications usually include a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory in the form of drops or topical ointments.
In the case of bacterial infections of the skin, allergies and certain types of shampoos may be prescribed to relieve symptoms. Making certain dietary changes and include regular exercise as part of the daily routine of your pet can also strengthen the immune system and fight infection.
The natural and holistic treatments have been used for centuries to support a healthy immune system. A combination of herbal ingredients is safe and gentle to use and addressing health and total wellness. Herbs such as Taraxacum officinalis (Dandelion), Echinacea purpurea, Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Sylibum marianus (milk thistle) can cleanse and purify the system, enhance immune function, and maintain liver health.