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DOG SHOW CRUD (bacterial overgrowth)

--> Please note, this is NOT a Campylobacter infection. To read more about campylobacter, please visit Campylobacter

"The Crud" is a Bacterial overgrowth in the digestive tract. Will sometimes test low positive for Parvovirus. It is NOT a new form of Parvo altho symptoms are quite similar to parvo. Crud dogs do not have a high temperature, nor will they have intestinal lesions. If a normal fecal is run on feces which are not quite to the watery & bloody stage, it will show a very hi bacterial content & will be negative for parvo (usually).

Any one of the normal bacteria found in the digestive tract will go into overgrowth. The mystery is what triggers it. Possibly infected urine/feces or something brought in on shoes or clothing or from a visiting dog. We know what cures it & what to do when a dog hasn't been treated quick enough. And of course we know the end results with a dog that dies of it.

Symptoms start 12-48hrs after initial contact (usually) & may spread to other dogs rapidly.

Dogs are alert, hungry, energetic. Normal feces starts with mucus sheath, continues to get progressively softer until becomes explosive diarrhea. Vomiting may or may not accompany. Feces have a sweet/flowery aroma along with a"slaughterhouse-on-a-summer-day" smell. Feces are *usually* mustard colored then become bloody. Dogs dehydrate at an astounding rate. Dogs are also at risk of intususseption(sp).

The younger or weaker the dog, the worse it is. Some dogs may never get it, even tho they may be kenneled with an afflicted dog. Some dogs also get over this without treatment.

The key is to treat this as fast as possible before the dogs go anorexic AND to treat ALL dogs on the premises (non-afflicted dogs should get ONE capsule). Treatment is 250mg Cephalexin per 25lbs of body weight. Pups may get Ceph-drops. This MUST be given orally NOT I/V - it MUST go thru the digestive tract. If the dog vomits the pill up, just give it again until it stays down. Give another dose approx 8-12hrs later. If the dog returns to normal DO NOT medicate again.

DO NOT use an IV drip on a Crud dog. Their circulatory systems will be very depressed; *if* a vein can be found, it may not be able to support an IV. Use Lactated Ringers Solution SUB-Q & force electrolytes orally (pedialyte).

I have to stress not to continue the drug after the dogs stop the diarrhea. The important thing is to treat them ONLY until the symptoms stop. Also, sometimes affected Crud dogs are not able to handle IV support because of circulatory collapse from massive dehydration. What a quandry since IV is the fastest way to rehydrate. So giving fluids under the skin is best & ONLY give until the drug starts to work. Afterwards IV is fine. Since the drug works so quickly, this is not too much of an issue. The whole point is to keep them "going" until the drug has time to work - usually a few short hours.

IV rehydration HAS thrown Crud affected dogs into deep shock & have also found some dogs having a complete shutdown of renal system, leakage of renal & intestinal fluids into various organs, circulatory & intestinal ruptures, etc. Not sure this was directly related to being IV'd but in every instance this has occured directly after IV support was started. Not the case when there was no IV support.

Also, DO NOT flea-dip/worm/vaccinate at this time, PLEASE!!!!!

Do NOT automatically assume Parvo when you see this. This is NOT Parvo, it is a BACTERIAL overgrowth in the digestive tract. Do NOT use Amoxycillin. Dogs should show improvement within hours of treatment using the correct drug.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me privately at with the subject CRUD. You may re-print this in it's entirety as long as the following disclaimer is included. No flaming please.

(Disclaimer: This information has been compiled from reports received by treating veterinarians and owners. The information written is what has worked previously. This information should be taken to any veterinarian who is treating dogs with this problem. No one that does not have veterinary training should diagnose & medicate their own dogs).