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mln2603 May 16th, 2008 08:47 PM

Dog with E.Coli - Answered by Dr. Lee
My inlaws have a 12 year old yorkie who has been sick off and on for about the last year. She would get diarrhea and vomitting every couple of months, they've always been told by the vet that it's a virus. Well, this time she was VERY sick, very lethargic, not eating... so the vet took exrays and ran tests. First, they said that she has cancer and then called back and said that they found massive amounts of e.coli. She's been on antibiotics for a couple of days and is starting to look better. I don't know if she really has cancer or not, the vet is not being of much help. He said to give her the antibiotic and come back in 3 weeks. So, we have alot of questions.... to start... how could a dog get e.coli? could it be from the dog food? Can Intercepter cause any of these problems?

Thanks for your help!!!

Dr Lee May 16th, 2008 11:36 PM

Sorry to hear that your pet is sick! But it is wonderful that she is feeling better.

First of all lets talk a bit about Escherichia coli. This bacteria lives in the lower intestines of most animals, and yes.... that includes you and me. The most common methods of infection are fecal contaminated food or water and undercooked meat. Thus for dogs it includes ponds, other pets or wild animals feces, contaminated foods, and even toilet water.

Why do we all have E.coli in us but at the same time it makes us so sick? The illness can depend mainly on the strain of the E. coli and the amount that the pet is exposed to.

Can it be from the dog food? Yes this is possible. The major food recall that recently occurred was due to a artificial faux-protein called melamine but many dog and human food recalls are E.coli based. E.coli can be present in beef because the fecal bacteria get mixed in with the meat during the slaughtering process. (eww.....:eek::yuck:)

Is interceptor involved? Nope.

I am sorry to hear that your vet has not answered these questions for you. :wall: That must be frustrating. So often we vets become very busy.

Did that answer all the questions you had? :)

Dr Lee May 17th, 2008 03:20 AM

I also forgot to mention that E. coli can undergo virulent strain formation while in the intestines. So it is possible that the bacteria formed a virulent, disease causing form within your pet as a natural strain evolution of the bacteria. Typically in situ virulent strain formation will show up as just mild to moderate diarrhea; it is also possible, on occasion, to form more deadly strains. Young, geriatric or immune compromised pets are at highest risk for this. Just another thought. Often when we see our pets suddenly struck ill we naturally look for a cause. Often there is not necessarily a preventable reason - especially with the pets of this forum who have some of the most attentive, affectionate, caring and proactive owners that a pet could wish for. :pawprint:

mln2603 May 17th, 2008 07:48 AM

Thank you so much for the response!! Yes, it does help answer some questions! Thanks again!!

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