Merck Manual

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Tuberculosis in Dogs

By

Charles O. Thoen

, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University

Last full review/revision Aug 2014 | Content last modified Oct 2014

Dogs may be infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, M bovis, and occasionally with M avium complex or M fortuitum, commonly from a human or bovine source. Tuberculous lesions are usually found in the lungs, liver, kidney, pleura, and peritoneum; they have a gray appearance, usually with a noncalcified, necrotic center. Lesions are often exudative and can produce a large quantity of straw-colored fluid in the thorax. False-negative tuberculin tests are often seen in dogs. Radiographs and a thorough history are useful in diagnosis. Treatment is not often recommended. Affected dogs in close contact with people should be euthanized because of public health concerns.

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