Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Pet Family

PetMD Seal

Septicemia and Bacteremia in Dogs

Bacterial Infection of the Blood (Sepsis) in Dogs

 

Bacteremia and septicemia occur when the persistent presence of bacterial organisms in a dog's bloodstream becomes systemic, meaning that it has spread throughout the body. This is also referred to as blood poisoning, and septic fever. This condition becomes very dangerous when it leads to abnormally low blood pressure and high body temperature, and can be fatal if left untreated. In severe cases, when the condition has progressed to septic shock, treatment alone will not be enough to save an animal.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

There are several signs and symptoms of both septicemia (blood infection) and bacteremia in dogs. Remember that septicemia and bacteremia are not the same thing, although they are similar, and are often used interchangeably.

 

  • Sepsis and bacteremia in dogs may develop slowly or suddenly
  • Signs and symptoms may vary, or they may involve many different organ systems, including the cardiovascular system
  • Symptoms are often confused with the signs and symptoms of many other immune-regulated diseases
  • Clinical symptoms are often more severe when the organisms involved are gram-negative organisms. These types of organisms are more likely to cause diseases in the dog
  • Typically, dogs will develop signs and symptoms of the disease in the gastrointestinal tract first
  • Initial physical signs and symptoms typically include chills, fever, and lethargy
  • Depression symptoms are common in dogs
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart beat) and heart murmur are common

 

Causes

 

The causes for sepsis and bacteremia in dogs typically include exposure to gram negative organisms, or those organisms that cause diseases in their hosts, including the E. Coli bacteria. Risk factors for the disease may include an existing health condition, such as diabetes mellitus, or liver and kidney failure. Dogs that have weakened immune systems, or those that have skin infections and urinary tract infections are also at risk. Any condition that lowers the immune system places a dog at risk for contraction of a bacterial disease.

 

Diagnosis

 

A complete blood profile will be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. Before diagnosing your dog, your doctor will want to rule out other possible causes for illness. Diseases that cause similar symptoms may include immune-mediated diseases. Examples of these types of diseases can include autoimmune diseases like thyroidits or lupus.

 

Radiographic imaging may discover abscesses on the internal organs.

 

 

 

Related Articles

Excess Alkali in the Blood in Dogs
A delicate balance of acid and alkali exists in the blood, and bicarbonate serves...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search dog Articles

 

Latest In Dog Nutrition

How Antioxidants Improve Our Pet's Health, ...
The science behind pet nutrition continues to make major advances. One such example...
READ MORE
5 Reasons Life Stage Diets Help Improve Pet ...
Balanced and complete nutrition is important for any animal. However, the nutritional...
READ MORE
5 Tips to Keep Your Senior Dog Healthy
Senior dogs have different health requirements than younger dogs. Here are some tips...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM