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My vet found a bacteria in my dog's wound: Ochrobactrum intermedium

He does not know this bacteria and therefore does not know what antibiotic to give.

Unfortunately, the condition of my dog is getting worse. He was panting all night.

Is there anyone who has experience with this bacterium and can help? It would be great if you could provide some references if you know something.

Species: Dog
Age: 6 years
Sex/Neuter status: male, not neutered
Breed: Rough Collie
Body weight: ~28 kg
History: He had to have surgery on his leg. After the surgery the wound became infected. The wound is now closed, but the inflammation is still there (CAP 7.5). He is in severe pain at the moment.
Clinical signs: Heavy panting, pain, CAP 7.5, Ochrobactrum intermedium
Duration: ~4 weeks

Thank you so much!

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  • 3
    If your vet is unable or unwilling to find the solution, go see another vet and don't waste time doing it.
    – Allison C
    Feb 18 at 14:41
  • 1
    Take your pet to an emergency clinic if you have to, only trained personnel can find out what is going out. Do not wait for internet people!
    – SerenaT
    Feb 18 at 15:07
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Please note that I am not a vet.

You don't write how your vet knows that the wound is infected with Ochrobactrum intermedium, so the first thing to be sceptic about is this identification of the pathogen.

Ochrobactrum and Brucella are genetically closely related genera of the family Brucellaceae within the class Alphaproteobacteria (Velasco et al., 1998), with Ochrobactrum intermedium, the closest relative to Brucella, sharing 98.8 % rRNA gene similarity with Brucella spp.

(Source: Specific detection and differentiation of Ochrobactrum anthropi, Ochrobactrum intermedium and Brucella spp. by a multi-primer PCR that targets the recA gene)

That means that the test that identified Ochrobactrum intermedium:

  • Either was specifically designed to distinguish between O. intermedium and Brucella (like a PCR test targeting the recA gene)
  • Or was not designed that way and may have mistaken Brucella or any other Ochrobactrum bacterium for O. intermedium.

The only way to be sure about that is to know exactly which test was done and how well this specific test can distinguish between those very similar pathogens.


In the rare cases that humans get infected with Ochrobactrum intermedium, they must be treated with 2 antibiotics simultaneously over several weeks. Since not all antibiotics are safe for dogs, I honestly cannot give you any meaningful advice.

The best thing you can do is

  1. Get all the paperwork, treatment notes and test result from your first vet
  2. Give all those notes to a second vet, emergency vet or veterinary clinic
  3. Get a second opinion from them and have your dog treated there if they know how to treat him.

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