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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Puppy Septicemia

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Condition Overview

Blood-borne infections in young puppies are caused by bacteria that gain entrance via the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. They occur in puppies 5 - 12 weeks of age.

Symptoms

Signs of respiratory involvement include fever, cough, nasal discharge, and rapid, noisy breathing. When the gastrointestinal tract is involved, signs include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, dehydration, and weight loss.

Causes

Very important contributing factors include overcrowding, chilling, poor nutrition, unsanitary whelping quarters, a heavy burden of intestinal parasites, and coexistent viral infections. In a healthy environment, bacterial exposure usually produces only a mild, self-limiting illness. When environmental stresses are added, the death rate is high.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by veterinary examination.

Treatment

Notify your veterinarian if a puppy shows any of these symptoms. Shock and dehydration are treated with antibiotics and intravenous fluids. Respiratory and GI tract infections are treated as described for Pneumonia and Acute Infectious Enteritis.

Prevention

Always place puppies in clean quarters.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian for more information regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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