Coliobacillosis is an infectious diarrhea caused by the bacteria E. coli. There are some strains of E. coli that are not part of the normal intestinal flora. When ingested, these strains are capable of producing acute diarrhea. E. coli can be acquired from infected drinking water, food, or fecal matter. This bacterial infection is a risk in dogs fed a raw diet, unless excellent food-handling hygiene is practiced at all times.
E. coli is an important cause of puppy septicemia, and may also cause urinary tract or reproductive tract infections. In dogs of all ages, a concurrent viral infection of the intestinal tract can allow E. coli to become pathogenic and produce a life-threatening illness.
Treatment: Acutely ill dogs must be hospitalized for intensive veterinary management. Dehydration is a serious concern, as is damage from toxins, especially to the kidneys. It is important to maintain strict sanitary precautions when handling infected stool.
Prevention: In humans, outbreaks of severe E. coli have occurred after eating undercooked ground beef or contaminated vegetables. Good hygiene is important here as well.