Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Synonym(s): P. aeruginosa

Contributor(s): Richard Walker




  • Family: Pseudomonaceae.
  • Genus: Pseudomonas.
  • Species: aeruginosa.


  • Pseudomonas: Gk: pseudes - false; monas - a unit.
  • Aeruginosa: Latin - full of copper rust or verdigris, hence green.

Active Forms

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Clinical Effects



  • Human and animal gastrointestinal tract, water, soil and sewage.
  • Ubiquitous in environment, especially in damp, poorly ventilated areas.
  • May be carried in the intestinal tract of healthy animals.


  • Multiplies in environment by binary fission. Non spore-forming.


  • Infection may be endogenous or exogenous.

Pathological effects

  • Immunodeficiency, trauma and antibiotic therapy all predispose to infection with P. aeruginosa.
  • P. aeruginosa has pili → adherence to epithelial cells.
  • Exotoxins, endotoxin and extracellular products - all may play a role in pathogenesis.
  • Some strains have an antiphagocytic capsule.
  • Causes wide variety of infections in many species, eg mastitis in cattle, sheep and goats, metritis in horses, skin infections in cattle, and necrotic lesions in reptiles.

Other Host Effects

  • Widely found in the environment and as part of the normal flora of the gastrointestinal tract and mucous membranes of animals.


Control via animal

  • Strict hygiene.
  • Judicious use of antimicrobial therapy.

Control via chemotherapies

  • Drug resistance related to R factors is a problem.
  • Strains may be resistant to all systemic antibiotics routinely tested.
  • Usually susceptible to gentamicin, tobramycin, amikacin and carbenicillin for treatment of soft tissue infections.
  • Tetracycline reaches bactericidal concentrations against P. aeruginosa in canine urine.
  • Most pseudomonads are susceptible to levels of antimicrobial agents in otic preparations, including neomycin, polymyxin, chloramphenicol, and gentamicin.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Nuttall T J (1998) Use of ticarcillin in the management of canine otitis externa complicated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. JSAP 39 (4), 165-168 PubMed.
  • Court E A, Watson A D & Martin P (1994) Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteraemia in a dog. Aust Vet J 71 (1), 25-27 PubMed.
  • Ling G V, Creighton S R & Ruby A L (1981) Tetracycline for oral treatment of canine urinary tract infection caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. JAVMA 179 (6), 578-579 PubMed.