Pasteurella Multocida Infection Clinical Presentation

Updated: Jul 26, 2022
  • Author: Sara L Cross, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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A history of animal exposure, whether occupational or recreational, should alert the physician to the possibility of a zoonosis. [1, 29]

A detailed pet history, including exposure to pets owned by friends or strangers, should reveal the possibility of Pasteurella infection. However, cases of Pasteurella infection occur in the total absence of an epidemiologic link.



Physical findings of P multocida infection relate to the site of infection, as follows [1] :

  • Local - Erythema, warmth, pain and tenderness, purulent discharge, lymphangitis, joint swelling, decreased range of motion

  • Respiratory - Sinus tenderness, hoarseness, pharyngeal erythema, rales and rhonchi upon chest auscultation, dullness to percussion, changes in vocal fremitus

  • CNS - Focal neurologic deficits, signs of meningeal irritation (eg, nuchal rigidity, Brudzinski sign, Kernig sign)

  • Abdominal - Abdominal tenderness, guarding and rebound, hepatosplenomegaly, costovertebral angle tenderness

  • Ocular - Corneal ulcer, conjunctival injection, decreased visual acuity

  • Cardiovascular - Hypotension, tachycardia, new cardiac murmur, embolic phenomenon

  • Lymph nodes - Regional adenopathy



Causes of P multocida infection include the following [1] :

  • Dog bite or lick

  • Cat bite, lick, or scratch

  • Idiopathic (no history of pet exposure)

  • Immunosuppression