00457-A: Canine Idiopathic Rhinitis is Associated with Bartonellosis

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $11,146
Adam Birkenheuer, DVM; North Carolina State University
January 1, 2005 - June 30, 2006


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease
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Chronic nasal discharge is one of the most common presenting complaints for patients referred to internal medicine specialty services. The inability to identify an etiology for this common disorder prevents direct treatment of affected dogs. Immunosuppresssion is generally recommended for palliation of signs, but is associated with side effects and is often ineffective. The result is both owner and clinician frustration and an inability to provide relief for the patient. Many dogs are ultimately euthanized because of poor quality of life. An association between the presence of nasal discharge and Bartonella seroreactivity was identified in a recent serosurvey performed on over 3,000 canine serum samples. In addition, many of the dogs with bartonellosis reported in the literature have had nasal discharge. We intend to show that infection with Bartonella is associated with canine idiopathic rhinitis (CIR) in dogs and, in future studies, to demonstrate that treatment for bartonellosis will result in resolution of CIR. In order to address our hypothesis we propose to perform a controlled multi-center study to prospectively evaluate dogs with CIR for bartonellosis by serologic and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.


Hawkins, E. C., Johnson, L. R., Guptill, L., Marr, H. S., Breitschwerdt, E. B., & Birkenheuer, A. J. (2008). Failure to identify an association between serologic or molecular evidence of Bartonella infection and idiopathic rhinitis in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 233(4), 597-599. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.233.4.597

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