Dr. McNamara says low anthrax risk to dogs if inhaled. Ingested anthrax prognosis poor. Anthrax symptoms.
ANTHRAX & YOUR DOG
Subj: Anthrax and K-9s
From Dr. McNamara:
I've spoken with some people at CDC and the AVMA regarding anthrax and K-9s. Unfortunately, there is very little information out there, but here is some stuff:
Dogs are 500 - 1000 times more resistant to Anthrax than people. The most common form in dogs is the gastrointestinal form since most dogs get anthrax by eating contaminated meat. I've told everyone that for working dogs (dogs searching mail, etc), the most common route would be inhalation.
There is some evidence that it is less likely for dogs to get inhalation anthrax since most of the bacteria is stopped in their nose since it is so long. The thought is that if the dogs get inhalation form, the signs would be respiratory distress (breathing hard, acting very sick, bleeding from the nose/mouth). If the dog gets to this level, death is very likely.
Antibiotics that work on anthrax in the dog include: Penicillins, oxytetracyclines, and ciproflaxacin.
Bottom line, if you think your dog was exposed, I'd DEFINITELY start treatment while the animal is being tested. As with a lot of poisonings, the success rate is very high if you intervene early, there is low risk in treating even if its not anthrax.
The prognosis is VERY POOR if it is anthrax and you didn't treat BEFORE signs occur. I'll hopefully get more info and pass it on...
PS. please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Paul S. McNamara, DVM, DACVS
Veterinary Specialties Referral Center
1641 Main Street, Route 5S
Pattersonville, NY 12137
Ph: 518-887-2260 Fax: 518-887-2265