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Bacterial Infection (Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Acoleplasma) in Dogs

Mycoplasmosis in Dogs

Mycoplasmosis is the general medical term for a disease caused by three infectious agents: mycoplasma, t-mycoplasma or ureaplasma, and acholeplasma. These agents are anaerobic bacterial parasitic microorganisms, capable of thriving and reproducing in the absence of oxygen. Mycoplasma lack a true cell wall, enabling them to assume various shapes and spread throughout the body’s systems. They can affect the respiratory tract, causing pneumonia, and the urinary tract, leading to various diseased conditions. Considered the smallest organisms capable of independent growth, mycoplasma are omnipresent in nature, causing disease in animals, humans, plants, and insects alike.

Symptoms and Types

Mycoplasmosis manifests with simultaneous inflammation of multiple joints (polyarthritis), affecting areas such as the knees, ankles, hips, or shoulders. Common signs include prolonged lameness, mobility issues, fever, and general discomfort. Additional symptoms may involve squinting or spasmodic blinking, eye fluid accumulation, redness, discharge, or conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye’s moist tissue). Respiratory manifestations are typically mild, with sneezing being the predominant complaint.

In dogs, localized infections may occur in the respiratory, urinary, and genital tracts. Conditions such as urethritis, vaginitis, prostatitis, nephritis, and cystitis can arise. Due to the close proximity of the bacterial parasite to the genital and reproductive systems, infertility is frequently observed. Additionally, pregnancies may result in abortion, weak offspring, stillbirth, early neonatal death, or embryo demise.


Mycoplasmosis stems from exposure to various common bacteria prevalent in the environment. Among the bacteria responsible for mycoplasmosis in dogs are M. canis, M. spumans, and M. maculosum.

Risk factors for developing mycoplasmosis include immunodeficiency disorders impairing the immune system’s function, as well as other conditions affecting immune function, like tumors.


Your veterinarian will conduct a comprehensive physical examination of your dog, considering the history of symptoms and potential incidents leading to the condition. A thorough blood profile will be performed, including a chemical blood profile, complete blood count, and urinalysis.

If symptoms of mycoplasmosis are present, various diagnostic procedures may be employed. Examination of fluid secreted into the prostate can determine the presence of normal bacterial cultures, with concurrent inflammatory cells indicating mycoplasmosis. In cases of suspected polyarthritis, analysis of synovial fluid from affected joints such as knees and shoulders may be beneficial, typically revealing elevated levels of nondegenerative neutrophils, a type of white blood cell.


Mycoplasmosis is typically treated on an outpatient basis, allowing for home treatment without the need for hospitalization. Depending on the severity and localization of the condition, antibiotics may be prescribed to combat the infection.

Living and Management

Home treatment typically requires an extended duration. Your veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate antibiotic regimen and specify the required treatment duration based on symptom evaluation. It’s crucial to consistently administer the prescribed antibiotic treatment for the entire duration as directed by your veterinarian.

Animals with robust immune systems receiving appropriate antibiotic therapy generally have a favorable prognosis and are expected to fully recover.


Currently, there are no vaccines known to prevent infection by the bacteria responsible for mycoplasmosis, resulting in limited preventative measures. The bacteria causing mycoplasmosis can be eradicated through methods such as drying out (e.g., exposure to sunlight) and chemical disinfection. Your veterinarian can assist in selecting products suitable for your environment. Maintaining general cleanliness and minimizing prolonged exposure to moisture can also be beneficial in preventing infection.

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