Sep­tic shock

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - NEWS - with Tim Craig VET­ERI­NAR­IAN

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.

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