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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Actinomycosis and Nocardiosis




Condition Overview

These bacterial skin infections generally occur in hunting dogs. Both actinomycosis and nocardiosis can produce a systemic infection that involves the lymph nodes, brain, chest cavity, lungs, and bones.


Subcutaneous (below the skin) abscesses with draining sinus tracts appear at the site of a puncture wound or break in the skin, usually in the head and neck area. The wound discharge often resembles tomato soup and or/ contains material that looks like sulfa granules.


The bacterial infections are acquired by contact with infected soil. Norcardiosis can be associated with gingivitis and mouth ulcers.


The diagnosis is made by culturing the wound drainage.


Treatment involves surgically opening infected abscesses and draining body cavities. Norcardiosis responds to sulfa drugs; actinomycosis to penicillin. Prolonged antibiotic treatment is necessary. If the infection has spread deeply into the skin, the dog may not survive.


More information needed.


Please contact your veterinarian with questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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