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All You Need to Know About E. coli in Dogs and Cats

Vet Talks 3 min read
Picture of a white cat laying with belly side up to represent the symptoms of e. coli in dogs and cats

What if we told you that E. coli in dogs and cats is entirely normal? There’s usually no need to panic, as this bacteria is typically benign and lives in harmony inside your little one’s gut. However, when highly concentrated, it can cause an E. coli infection. And this can be deadly, especially in young pets!

E. coli Infection in Pets

All warm-blooded animals, including dogs and cats, have many microbes living peacefully inside their intestine. One of the most famous “good bacteria” we hear about is probiotics. But did you know that E. coli is also one of them?

One of the most famous “good bacteria” we hear about is probiotics. But did you know that E. coli is also one of them?

A high quantity of Escherichia coli or E. coli in your little one’s system can cause severe infections. An E. coli infection can lead to symptoms from simple diarrhea to severe kidney infection, meningitis, or blood poisoning (septicemia), which can lead to death.

These are some of the most common signs of infection caused by excess E. coli in dogs and cats to keep your eye for:

These symptoms can go away when treated with proper medications, like antibiotics, anti-emetics, fluid therapy, and a nutritious diet. The scary part is that Escherichia coli can be highly resistant to multiple pharmaceuticals, so in more severe cases, the pet might require 24/7 monitoring in a veterinary hospital.

Image of a dog looking down , sitting next to a bit of regurgitated food to exemplify typical signs of e. coli in dogs and cats

Home care for Pets with E. coli Infection

More severe cases will require an extended stay at the vet, but in general, once the pet is eating by themselves and most symptoms have subsided, the owner can take them home. Once your little one is back under your care, make sure to provide them with lots of warmth, good food, nutritional support, and extra love.

Rest, restricted activity, and close monitoring as your little one recovers are also essential in managing E. coli in dogs and cats.

At NHV we have natural supplements that can offer extra support during your little one’s recovery time. Formulas like NHV Plantaeris and NHV TumFlora can help with gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, GI inflammation, and poor absorption of nutrients.

NHV Yucca is also a great added aid for its discomfort-relieving properties. This extract can also help with inflammation, nausea, and lack of appetite.

NHV Inulin-PK was formulated to help eliminate harmful parasites while stimulating healing in the gastrointestinal tract.

Finally, NHV Felimm is our main recommendation for pets fighting against any bacterial infection. It contains herbs with antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory qualities that offer support against a variety of conditions.

Preventing E. coli in Dogs and Cats

It is impossible to avoid contact with this bacteria since it lives inside your little one’s gut. But the excess of E. coli in dogs and cats is caused by the ingestion of contaminated food. So keeping the environment where your furkiddo lives clean is essential. 

Here are some tips on adequate sanitation: 

  • Remove feces and urine from your pet daily.
  • Use an appropriate, pet-safe sanitizer to keep all surfaces clean.
  • Always wash your hands well before handling their food.
  • Keep your dog, and cat bowls clean. 
  • Make sure any raw or cooked meal is correctly stored and manipulated.

E. coli infection can progress really quickly into something very serious if left untreated. So remember, when in doubt, talk to your veterinarian. We are also always here to help you and your furkiddo on the path of recovery.

Dr. Rebeca Oliveira DVM

Dr. Rebeca Oliveira DVM

Dr. Rebeca is a holistic veterinarian from Brazil with a passion for natural and integrative medicine. She’s been studying integrative medicine and alternative (and healthier) diets since 2015, and now started to study the power of herbs with the NHV Family. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her golden retriever, Kuga.

Published: November 16, 2022

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