Mycoplasma infection is something we’re seeing pop up more often around Putnam County. Mycoplasmosis is the medical term given to a disease caused by one of three infectious agents: mycoplasma, t-mycoplasma or ureaplasma, and acholeplasma. Each of these agents are an anaerobic bacterial parasitic microorganism. This basically means that they are capable of living and growing in their environment even without the presence of oxygen. The crazy part is that they are able to self produce and because they lack a cell wall, it's actually easier for the bacteria to spread throughout the infected patients body. When this occurs it can cause pneumonia, issues with the urinary tract and other forms of diseases. It’s important to address mycoplasma as soon as possible because it can spread to not only other animals, but to humans, plants and insects too.
We wanted to discuss the symptoms, causes and treatments for mycoplasma infection so pet parents are well informed in case their pet starts showing signs.
Symptoms and Types:
Symptoms of mycoplasmosis include inflammation of several joints at the same time. For example areas like your pets knees, ankles, hips or shoulders may show signs of inflammation or a buildup of fluid. Some of the typical signs include long-term lethargy, difficulty moving around, fever and signs of discomfort. Other signs may include squinting of the eyes, constant blinking, fluid buildup in the eyes, redness in the eyes, eye discharge or conjunctivitis (pink eye). Some signs of respiratory upset may also occur causing some cases of sneezing. Some signs can also include infection of the respiratory system, urinary tract, and in some cases genital tract. Some of the conditions that may be presented in these cases are urethritis, vaginitis, prostatitis, nephritis, and cystitis. Since these can affect the reproductive tract it’s important to know that in those cases with mycoplasmosis chances of infertility, miscarriages, and stillbirths are higher.
Mycoplasmosis is caused by exposure to a number of common bacteria that can be found throughout the environment. Types of bacteria that lead to mycoplasmosis in dogs include: M. canis, M. spumans, and M. maculosum. If your pet has a compromised immune system they are more susceptible to getting a mycoplasma infection.
Your vet will perform an exam to see what is going on with your pet and to help determine what might have led to this condition. To get the most accurate results your veterinarian will take a blood sample as well as a urine sample to send to the lab for analysis.
Thankfully mycoplasmosis can be treated at home and does not usually require hospitalization. Depending on the severity and location of the condition, antibiotics may be prescribed for your pet to prevent the spread of the infection.
Treatment can last a long time with mycoplasmosis so it’s important to remain patient and follow your veterinarian's instructions. Be sure to administer antibiotic treatments for the full period of time that they advise. Healthy animals with strong immune systems tend to have a good outcome and are expected to recover fully.
Preventing your dog from getting a mycoplasma infection isn't as easy as it may seem. Unfortunately, there are no vaccines for mycoplasmosis therefore there is not much that can be done as far as prevention goes. If you need help finding a product that will help eliminate the bacteria that causes mycoplasmosis talk to your veterinarian. There are some products that can help depending on your environment, just ask us for some recommendations.