Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Juvenile Cellulitis - Puppy Strangles

Years ago, when we had a litter of puppies, one day we noticed a bump on the side of one of the puppies throats. It didn't seem to be bothering the puppy. He was eating and drinking and doing all the things little puppies do at about 5 weeks old.
The next morning, the bump on his throat had enlarged significantly. The puppy was in somewhat of a distressed condition , lethargy had set in and his breathing was slightly labored.
We immediately got into the car and rushed this little guy to our Vet, which is about an hour away. I drove while Dan held and comforted the puppy. We were afraid he would die before we got to the Vet.  I made the hour drive in 35 minutes. It was a Saturday and our vet, Dr. Moody, met us at his hospital. He put the puppy under then proceeded to lance the bump. Luckily, he knew what it was and diagnosed the puppy with "Puppy Strangles", which is another name for Juvenile Cellulitis.

Had it not been for his quick action and proper diagnosis, the puppy would have died. In less than 24 hours the "bump" had swollen so much that it was interfering with his breathing. He gave us some antibiotics and I believe a little something to help with  healing. Thank goodness, that was the end of it. No other puppy had this problem. This was the only puppy we've ever experienced this with. The puppy never had it again.

It's not exactly clear what causes Juvenile Cellulitis, but it is suspected to be hereditary, by some. Others have speculated that it is an abnormality or dysfunction in the immune system of the puppy. One thing is for sure, the skin disease is pretty awful for the puppy and if untreated the puppy will most likely,  die.

Cellulitis doesn't only effect the throat and neck.  It can develop in the ears and eyes as well.

Certain breeds seem to be more prone to Juvenile Cellulitis. They are  Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Dachshunds, Gordon Setters, and Lhasa Apsos.  Although, in my research, I found a German Shepherd and an Australian Shepherd who also had it.

For more information on symptoms and treatment for this serious, life threatening disease :

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