Campylobacter spp are a commensal Gram-negative, spiral, flagellated, microaerophilic zoonotic bacteria commonly found in the digestive tract of dogs and routinely cultured in feces from diarrheic dogs.
Routine rectal swabs have found this bacteria in the feces of dogs, and are usually asymptomatic, although zoonotic infections have been reported.
With food-borne contamination the most recognized source for infections, ingestion of untreated water, raw milk, undercooked chicken and the cross-contamination of foods are recognized risk factors for acquiring Campylobacter.
Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:
- Campylobacter jejuni
- Campylobacter coli
- Campylobacter upsaliensis
- Campylobacter concisus
- Campylobacter fetus
- Campylobacter gracilis
- Campylobacter helveticus
- Campylobacter lari
- Campylobacter mucosalis
- Campylobacter showae
- Campylobacter sputorum
- Campylobacter rectus - gingivitis and periodontitis
- Campylobacter cuniculorum (prairie dogs) - nonpathogenic
However, in many cases, intestinal bacterial overgrowth associated with increased numbers of Clostridium perfringens is suspected. This suggests that the apparent presence of Campylobacter populations may be related to environmental changes consistent with the physiological condition of diarrhea rather than any particular pathogen or disorder.
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