SEPTIC shock is a disease syndrome that occurs in animals with severe infections.
It is a body wide inflammatory cascade that is triggered by the release of bacterial toxins from a site of infection or by spreading of bacteria themselves into the blood stream (septicaemia).
This disease state is very serious and can develop from multiple types of infection in the body.
Examples of this include pyometra (pus infection of the uterus), severe dental disease and infections post dog bites.
The syndrome is characterised initially by fever, rapid heart rate, lethargy and brisk red gums.
As time progresses the heart rate can slow and blood pressure drops.
The gums become pale and the animal’s ability to get up and move around diminishes.
The further the syndrome progresses the harder it is to correct and the poorer the prognosis for recovery becomes.
Treatment of septic shock is aimed at first rapidly identifying that the syndrome is developing.
Then efforts to remove or kill off the bacterial must be made.
This may be with aggressive antibiotic therapy or surgical drainage or excision.
Concurrently shock (the state of lowering blood pressure) should be attended to with IV fluid therapy and other medications as required.
Early identification and treatment is best in this disease syndrome.
Any dog or cat that appears to have an infection and is getting worse in their appetite or energy levels should be assessed to see if the infection’s effects are starting to spread to other parts of the body.