Microbiological study of transtracheal aspirates from dogs with suspected lower respiratory tract disease: 264 cases (1989-1995)

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1997 Jan 1;210(1):55-8.


Objective: To determine the most commonly isolated bacterial species associated with lower respiratory tract disease of dogs and to determine susceptibility of these isolates to antimicrobial agents.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Sample population: Transtracheal aspirates from 264 dogs with clinical evidence of lower respiratory tract disease.

Procedure: Records of microbiological analyses of transtracheal aspirates obtained from dogs with clinical evidence of lower respiratory tract disease were reviewed. Analyses performed included bacterial culture (anaerobic and aerobic organisms) and susceptibility testing (aerobic organisms). The medical record of each affected dog was evaluated to determine signalment and underlying condition.

Results: Bacteria were isolated from 116 of 264 (44%) samples, and 203 bacterial species were identified. Most (57%) of the samples from which bacteria could be isolated contained a single species, whereas 43% yielded cultures of mixed species. Bacterial species belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae (particularly Escherichia coli) were isolated most commonly (45.7% of samples contained members of this group), followed by members of the genus Pasteurella (22.4%), obligate anaerobes (21.6%), beta-hemolytic Streptococcus (12.1%), Bordetella bronchiseptica (12.1%), nonhemolytic Streptococcus/Enterococcus sp group (12.1%), coagulase-positive Staphylococcus (9.5%), and Pseudomonas sp (7.8%). The most active antimicrobial drugs (inhibiting > 90% of the isolates) for aerobic microorganisms encountered most often (E. coli and Pasteurella sp) included amikacin, ceftizoxime sodium, enrofloxacin, and gentamicin sulfate.

Clinical implications: Amikacin, ceftizoxime, enrofloxacin, and gentamicin may be rational choices for treatment of suspected infectious lower respiratory tract disease of dogs, before identification of the causative agent(s) and before results of susceptibility tests become available.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica / drug effects
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica / isolation & purification
  • Dog Diseases / microbiology*
  • Dogs
  • Enterobacteriaceae / drug effects
  • Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Enterococcus / drug effects
  • Enterococcus / isolation & purification
  • Lung / microbiology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / veterinary
  • Pasteurella / drug effects
  • Pasteurella / isolation & purification
  • Pseudomonas / drug effects
  • Pseudomonas / isolation & purification
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / microbiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / veterinary*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Staphylococcus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus / drug effects
  • Streptococcus / isolation & purification
  • Suction / veterinary