Overview of Canine Mycoplasma
Mycoplasma is a bacterial organism that is capable of infecting humans, animals, plants and insects. It can affect multiple organs and in turn, create a wide array of associated disorders.
Any one of several serotypes (subtypes) of Mycoplasma can cause illness. This infection is seen in both dogs and cats. Mycoplasma is occasionally found in healthy dogs without causing disease. There is no sex, breed or age predilection.
Stress, concurrent disease, immunodeficiency/immunosuppression (poorly functioning or underactive immune system) and cancer may render an individual more susceptible to disease from Mycoplasma.
The impact on the pet can vary from a complete absence of signs to severe disease.
What to Watch For
Signs of mycoplasma in dogs may include:
Diagnosis of Mycoplasma in Dogs
Treatment of Mycoplasma in Dogs
Home Care and Prevention
Administer all medication and return for follow-up as directed by your veterinarian. Prognosis is generally good in otherwise healthy animals.
There is currently no vaccine available to prevent Mycoplasma infection. The organism is readily killed by drying, sunshine and chemical disinfection.
In-depth Information on Mycoplasma in Dogs
Mycoplasma is a bacteria that can affect any age or breed of dog. It is not unusual for pets to have no symptoms; Mycoplasma has been isolated from healthy dogs. Several risk factors may render an individual more susceptible to Mycoplasma, including overall health status and environment, concurrent disease or administration of certain medications, such as corticosteroids and chemotherapy, that cause suppression of the immune system. Many systems can be affected by Mycoplasma, and in turn, a variety of clinical scenarios. Because the signs are so variable, many disorders must initially be considered.
A host of infectious agents that cause respiratory signs need to be differentiated from Mycoplasma. These include:
Disorders that cause abortion, infertility, stillbirths or weak newborns need to be differentiated from Mycoplasma. These include:
Disorders that cause arthritis must be ruled out. These include:
Diseases that cause renal or urologic disorders must be considered. These include:
Diseases that cause conjunctivitis must be considered. These include:
In-depth Information on Diagnosis
Certain tests must be performed for a definitive diagnosis of Mycoplasma infections and to exclude other disease processes that may cause similar symptoms. A complete history, description of clinical signs and thorough physical examination are all an important part of obtaining a diagnosis. In addition, the following tests are recommended to confirm a diagnosis:
Your veterinarian may require additional tests to insure optimal medical care. These are selected on a case by case basis:
In-depth Information on Therapy
Appropriate therapy for Mycoplasma infections varies according to the type and severity of clinical illness. Depending on the severity of clinical signs and/or stage of disease, hospitalization may or may not be recommended. Patients who are severely ill and dehydrated are hospitalized for aggressive treatment and stabilization. Stable patients can be treated as outpatients as long as they are monitored closely for response to therapy. With appropriate therapy, most patients do quite well. It is very important that all recommendations by your veterinarian are followed very closely, and any questions or concerns that arise during the treatment protocol are addressed immediately.
Therapy may include:
Follow-up Care for Dogs with Mycoplasma
Optimal treatment for your dog requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your pet does not rapidly improve. Administer all prescribed medication as directed. Alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your dog.
Observe your dog’s general activity level, appetite and general demeanor and monitor for any recurrence of signs, suggestive of reinfection.
Prognosis is good in animals with a competent immune system given appropriate therapy.