Blood Infections in Dogs

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Canine blood infections can be dangerous and difficult to treat, and they should be taken very seriously. When diagnosed quickly, closely monitored treatment of canine blood infections can lead to successful recovery.

Symptoms

Symptoms of canine blood infections can include listlessness, lack of appetite, weight loss, fever, swollen lymph nodes, weakness, white-colored gums and red or orange urine.

Causes

Most blood infections are caused when an infected flea or tick bites a dog, transferring bacteria into the bloodstream through saliva. Blood infections may also be caused by body fluid exchange (i.e., an infected dog bites another dog in a fight, transmitting disease) and very rarely through blood transfusions.

Diagnosis

A veterinarian will examine the dog for the outward symptoms listed above, as well as running a urinalysis and blood tests, such as blood count, blood smear and Coombs' test, which registers antibodies acting against red blood cells.

Treatment

Treatment includes prescribed antibiotics (possibly a long term course), steroid therapy and occasionally hospitalization or blood transfusions.

Warning

If left untreated, blood infections can be fatal and will result in the death of the infected dog.

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