A dog can become infected with Clostridium difficile bacteria after taking antibiotics or immunosuppressants. The infection causes inflammation of the large bowel and can cause damage to the colon.
A healthy dog does not normally have C. difficile present in its digestive system. An infection can happen if a large amount of C. difficile bacteria is present while the normal healthy bacteria are reduced. Healthy bacteria can be reduced by antibiotics that may have been used to treat a different bacterial infection. Symptoms of infection include diarrhea, blood or mucus in the stool, painful bowel movements, abdominal pain, weakness, and dehydration.