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Cryptosporidium and Clostridium Perfringins

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Hi everyone ~


I've some questions pursuant to my previous post, OVER HERE, where I told about Nick's bouts with intense diarrhea. After having a sudden-onset episode on February 1st about 3 hours after working sheep, he had another episode 7 weeks later, on March 15th a few hours after a 5-hour car ride. (Maybe triggered by physical and/or mental stress?) In each instance, the attacks came on fast, hit hard, and were gone within 12 hours and he returned to seeming normalcy.


Anyhow, a recent blood panel came back "beautifully clean," but a fecal exam tested positive for both Cryptosporidium and Clostridium Perfringins. My vet has him on Metronidazole (flagyl) and I'm also giving him yogurt, ProBios probiotics and Metamucil. His stools now look entirely normal and his attitude, appearance and activity levels are 100%. He has not lost weight and his appetite remains excellent.


So, there's that. But I have some questions, if any of our medically-minded folks have some thoughts.


One, is Metronidazole alone going to do the trick?

I hate to second-guess my vet, but she's a new young gal and ... to sound perfectly awful, I have trouble feeling as secure in her treatment advice as I would if it were the older, senior vet at our hospital. (I hereby apologize to all young vets!)


Two, I have ordered a jar of Tylan (tylosin) soluble powder which should come by mail in a couple days. I now plan to keep that around as just part of my doggie med-kit. But can I give that to Nick in conjunction with the metro, or is there risk of drug interaction?

(I can ask my vet that, too, but it's 9:45 at night and I'm thinking too much!)


Three, depending what I read on the internet, I can, A.) expect Nick to respond beautifully to the metro and his immune system will subsequently kick in and kill off the rest of those microbial little nasties, or B.) he'll remain a walking hazmat site for the rest of his life and I should bleach everything he's ever touched. :huh: What's the real deal, there?


Four, why did Nick get this stuff? Why did he get sick when none of the other dogs around him have?

The vet seems to feel, and is undoubtedly correct, that he got it from drinking tainted water, most likely due to livestock. Between the little pond on our place and the irrigation ditch at one of our training sites, there's every chance he got into bad water. The ditch, especially, has cattle upstream and to cool off after working, he was getting into a standing pool in the ditch and pawing up really mucky water - (and biting whatever floated up) - which resulted in him churning up all sorts of gunk in a wonderful mucky soup. But other dogs get in and drink this same ditch water on a regular basis. Dogs on ranches and farms the world over play in and drink ditch water but they don't all get Cryptosporidium and Clostridium Perfringins. So ... why him but no one else?


That's all I can think of now, so thank you in advance to anyone who can offer their thoughts.

Respectfully submitted,



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Obviously, exposure is one parameter, but Nick's immune system may not be as strong as the other dogs (assuming the exposure is the same). Probiostics definitely sounds like a good supportive treatment (populate the gut with as many beneficial bacteria as possible so that the bad bacteria can not get a toehold), in addition to the drugs. I am not as up on drugs as others - having not yet had to use them too much, luckily. This is why, if I suspected my dog had a weaker immune system (and it doesn't hurt a healthy immune system), I would tend to use supportive regimens, such as probiotics and Biosponge (which helps control C. perfringens) once the drugs have knoocked them down.



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Not a medical person, but I found this on the web.




A couple different articles said that c. perfingens is found in 80% of dogs. From my go-rounds with Buzz, I remember that this bug is almost everywhere, soil, water, skin, etc.


I was unable to find a quote about stress having an effect, but in Buzz it certainly did. Nick might have had some other bug in his system at the time, that made his immune functions a little off.


If Nick goes a few months without a recurrence, that's really good. Buzz was getting sick every couple months, but as I mentioned that was a high, high stress time. It was the last year of my dad's life, and he was kenneled frequently while I was out of town with family. When I was in town, I was in that difficult waiting phase. Buzzie really picked up on his human's emotional state.


The preventive measures, (oat bran, probiotics) did help considerably.


Hope you can get more expert info than just my anecdotal stuff, based on a sample of one!


Ruth and Agent Gibbs

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As Ruth pointed out, sometimes a variety of "baddies" can be found in a majority of animals. But only a few animals may ever be affected or show symptoms. Stress of a physical or even mental/emotional nature can predispose an individual to having the bacteria, etc., multiply and cause symptoms. An individual's immune system may not be as resistant as another animal's might be. If it's something in the digestive system, eating something unusual can result in a digestive upset.


My question is whether or not this only happens on trips?

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Probios has 4 different strains of probiotics, all lactic acid bacteria. It's a bit limited when you know you have an intestinal bacteria problem. Also you may want to add a little Metamucil Clear and Natural, it is an excellent prebiotic to help support the probiotics in the gut.

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Thanks, everyone, for the added info! :)


No, this doesn't happen only on trips. The first time 7 weeks ago was after working sheep at one of our usual spots just 20 minutes from home, where we work regularly. This second bout was during a trip, so who knows. :huh:


Jovi, you may be right. Nick's immune system has seemed bullet-proof until now, and maybe playing in mucky water so vigorously meant he way upped his exposure to any nasties in that ditch, but ... hard to say. I guess time will tell. Lord knows I wasn't watching him ENOUGH, after his back injury, now I'm gonna be watching him for ever fart and hiccup! :lol:


But thanks, everyone. I'm making notes of the various helps you're giving me, and I'll look into them.


Darn these dogs, anyhow. ;)


~ Gloria

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