Canis ISSN: 2398-2942


Synonym(s): Bartonella visonii subsp berkhoffii, Bartonella henselae, Bartonella elizabethae, Bartonella clarridgeiae, Bartonella washoensis, cat scratch disease

Contributor(s): Stephen Barr, Susan Dawson, Grace Mulcahy




  • Genus: Bartonella (includes those previously classified as Rochalimaea and Grahamella).

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Clinical Effects



  • The red blood cell of the infected host (dogs, cats, rodents, etc).


  • Unknown.


  • Vectors are ticks and fleas.
  • Although not proven transmission is thought to be by a bite from an infected tick or flea.
  • Iatrogenic - via blood transfusion Blood: transfusion.

Pathological effects

  • DogsB. visonii subsp berkhoffii occurs in healthy dogs, and dogs with endocarditis, granulomatous lymphadenitis or granulomatous rhinitis. B. henselae was isolated from a dog with heptatomegaly, peritoneal effusion, and peliosis hepatis.
  • Bartonella henselae in humans: cat scratch disease usully manifests as a lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy proximal to the site of a cat scratch or bite. In immunocompromised individuals, bacillary angiomatosis or peliosis hepatis can also result from B. henselae infection.


Control via chemotherapies

  • Long-term treatment up to 6 weeks may be required.
  • Erythromycin Erythromycin and oxytetracycline Oxytetracycline diminish bacteremia.
  • Doxycycline Doxycycline (25 mg BID PO) for up to 4 weeks: follow-up blood culture 2-4 weeks after completion of antimicrobial treatment.
    Enrofloxacin and amoxycillin are not effective.

Control via environment


  • None available.

Other countermeasures

  • Thorough cleaning of bite or scratch wounds.
  • Humans with cat scratch disease have responded well to rifampicin, ciprofloxacin Ciprofloxacin , trimethroprim-sulfonamethoxazole Trimethoprim , or gentamicin Gentamicin for 2-6 weeks.
  • Bacillary angiomatosis responds to doxycycline Doxycycline or erythromycin Erythromycin.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Breitschwerdt E B, Suksawat J, Chomel B et al (2003) The immunologic response of dogs to Bartonella visonii subspecies berkhoffii antigens: as assessed by Western immunoblot analysis. J Vet Diag Invest 15 (4), 349-354 PubMed.
  • Chomel BB, Mac Donald K A, Kasten R W et al (2001) Aortic valve endocardititis in a dog due to Bartonella clarridgeiaeJ Clin Microbiol 39 (10), 3548-3554 PubMed.
  • Kitchell B E, Fan T M, Kordick D et al (2000) Peliosis hepatis in a dog infected with Bartonella henselae. J Am Vet Med Assoc 216 (4), 517, 519-523 PubMed.
  • Pappalardo B L, Brown T, Gookin J L et al (2000) Granulomatous disease associated with Bartonella infection in 2 dogs. J Vet Intern Med 14 (1), 37-42 PubMed.
  • Breitschwerdt E B, Hegarty B C & Hancock S I (1998) Sequential evaluation of dogs naturally infected with Ehrlichia canisEhrlichia chaffeensisEhrlichia equi, Ehrlichia eqingii or Bartonella visoniiJ Clin Microbiol 36 (9), 2645-2651 PubMed.