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Monday, March 30, 2009

Puppy strangles

By request, I am posting about a disease called puppy strangles, otherwise known as juvenile cellulitis. While we don't see cases of it every day, it is nonetheless not rare.
Affected puppies are usually between one and four months of age. with symptoms that are often quite shocking in appearance. They include a swollen face, ears, muzzle, and spectacularly enlarged lymph nodes. The symptoms are consistent with other diseases and must be differentiated from a severe bacterial or fungal infection and mange (Demodex or Sarcoptes mites under the skin). Puppy strangles can be quite painful, unlike the other diseases just mentioned.
While it may appear that these dogs have some sort of infection, true puppy strangles is an auto-immune disease, meaning that the puppy's own immune system has, for some reason, gone a "little haywire". Therefore, treatment involves the use of prednisone, as an immunosuppressant, for cure. Within one to two weeks of treatment, affected puppies respond very favorably. The disease is curable and does not recur.

Puppy with juvenile cellulitis, or strangles (photo from the Pet Health Library).

93 comments:

GoLightly said...

Jeepers, I've never heard of it! Poor little things.
Is it related at all to vaccination protocols, do you think?

Ouch, it looks very painful.

Poor critters.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Interesting post! Thanks! This is something I haven't seen before

DogsDeserveFreedom

foster mum said...

Thank-you so much for posting this. I am very proud to have "pulled" a pup through such a difficult illness.
Prednisone causes these pups to be very thirsty thus causing havoc with "pee times".
(we used facecloths soaked,tied in a knot and then frozen for him to suck on)
Pustules on the face and in the ears need to be cleansed to prevent infection.
I had to keep my pup away from 'general population" for a few months (thus possibly hindering socialization) until he had almost completed his divided
doses of immunization. Thankfully he is a very happy pup now,and gets along well with all dogs and people.

retriever farm said...

This is not a fun disease at all. Had had a pup who had it and was very sick. She later relapsed with it, the vet said this almost never happens, but lucky me. All the high doses of steroids rendered her sterile, which I guess is good, who knows if this nasty disease is hereditary, but it was a shame she was a gorgeous pup. I kept her for a few years then placed her into a very loving pet home. She was a doll.

Anonymous said...

I NEVER HEARD OF PUPPY STRANGLES EITHER,UNTIL 2 OF MY PUPPIES HAD IT FROM THE SAME LITTER.THEY ARE STILL IN RECOVERY,POOR LITTLE THINGS,I HOPE WITH ALL THE MEDICINES THEY RECOVER.AND YES IT IS PAINFUL,I HAD NO CLUE WHAT IT WAS,I FOUND MY PUPPY ROLLING AROUND ON THE FLOOR JUST SQUEALING LIKE CRAZY.IT'S A HORRIBLE THING.LUMPS,RASHES IN EARS AND BELLY,EYES LOOK TERRIBLE.SOMETHING I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF.AND I FEEL SORRY FOR THE PUPPIES AND THE OWNERS WHO HAVE TO GO THROU THIS.IT MAKES YOU WONDER IF THEY SHOULD HAVE A VACCINE FOR IT.GOD BLESS AND GOOD LUCK.........

ashley said...

I have a pup with the real deal (strangles) and It's so sad to see him hurting. My pup is on both Predisone (7.5mg a day x 2 weeks and then a reducing dose from there)) as well as a twice a day antibiotic (to fight secondary infection d/t the ulcers). It's been 8 days since he started treatment. He is still very playful, but he gets tired easily (which I'm sure is true of most pups) What I would like to know is if there is anything I can use to treat the weeping ulcers? Hydriocortisone cream maybe? If anyone has suggestions please let me know. apierce8213@charter.net

Elaine said...

My puppy contracted Puppy Strangles. He was so sick I thought we might loose him. Thank goodness I have a fabulous Vet. She caught it.
Here is a photo of him while he was sick.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/connermajik/3516397686/in/set-72157600855208221/
Elaine in Nebraska

LovelieT said...

My vet and I are at a loss. A nearby breeder of labs has a litter of puppies that was diagnosed with strangles, but a different litter is getting sick, seems it may be a neurological thing. This puppy is disoriented and crying as if in pain, but is not showing any classic symptoms of strangles. Could this problem have anything to do with strangles.

TorontoVet said...

Without having seen the puppies, neurological signs in a litter of puppies suggests either canine distemper or a Neosporosis (caused by Neospora caninum). There are reasonable ways to test for these diseases.
Here's an article on Neospora in dogs:
http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2005&PID=10950&O=Generic

Thanks for posting and keep me posted on their condition.

TorontoVet said...

Just wanted to add that with distemper, the puppies may have respiratory symptoms as well.

KG said...

My 11 week old Great Dane has puppy stangles. My husband felt a lump on his jaw line this afternoon and we took him to the vets immediately. He also looks "pinkish" through his white hair. The vet said we caught this very early and started him on antibiotics and steroids.

My question is that since this is caught early, will he still have to go through the ulcers and such?

Lanark said...

I have a puppy that has Puppy Strangles. It has been a month since we started Pred and antibiotics. After the first two weeks, we tried to reduce the Pred by 1/2 but lesions started to appear, so now he is back on full strength pred and antibiotics. How comon is extended treament for this disease, and is there an permanent auto-immune problem with puppies who develop this problem?

Anonymous said...

I got Gunner for my birthday on 30 Nov 2009, he was such a beautiful daschund puppy at 6 weeks old! About a week later I had noticed that he had a small mark on his left eye – it looked like an insect bite. His eye was a bit swollen, so thought that if it was an insect bite it would be okay.

The next morning however, both his eyes were swollen. We took him to our vet. The vet mentioned that it could have been an insect bite – we received eye drops. We religiously gave him the eye drops (with a big struggle – he hated it!). A day went by, no improvement and by now his eyes were discharging a lot and around his mouth it looked like small pimples. We took him back to the vet. This time the vet said that he had some type of mange around his mouth as well as acne. We had him dipped (I was very scared as I read about what dip could do to such a small puppy)!! It looked as though the dip had worked as it seemed to me as though his mouth dried out and made scabs. His eyes were still swollen. And he started limping as well. I initially thought that our older daschund (Leeloo is 2 years old) had accidently knocked him over.

We took him back to the vet to have his eyes and leg checked out, as by now we had also noticed a high temperature as well as swollen glands in his neck. This can’t be good! He was given an injection for his high fever. The vet also mentioned that she thinks he might have a fungal infection, so he received anti-biotics for that as well. We were at our wits end and were hoping that he will now start to show an improvement!

Unfortunately, still nothing – he can’t even open his eyes without our help anymore!! So, we had continued with his anti-biotics, eye drops and cleaning his mouth – we had still not seen an improvement in the swelling. In fact, we noticed a new bump on top of his neck and he had started shaking his head more often – seemed to be out of irritation or something. Back to the vet we went… The bump on his neck – an abscess and the reason for shaking his head? – multiple abscesses in both his ears! Oh, my little baby!! More painkillers and anti-biotics!

He came back home, we weren’t home for an hour when he completely collapsed! We rushed back to the vet! He was admitted into the animal hospital. The vet said that we had to make a decision – we’re either going to have to put him down, or be prepared to spend a lot of money on him – even if he only has a 50/50% chance of making it. Needless to say, we spent the money!! They could not do anything under anaesthetic as the vet said that he might not be able to wake up afterwards, so they gave him a high dosage of painkillers. He stayed in hospital for 2 nights, we went on the second day to go and visit him – his face was half the size of what it had used to be! They had given him high dosages of cortizone to get the swelling under control. We wanted to take him home, but the vet said that they would rather like to keep him there for another night.

We went to fetch him yesterday, and he is like a new puppy! Two very LONG weeks later! He seems to better, playful and he has his appetite back! He has no hair around his eyes or mouth, but he is better and that is all that matters! We need to clean out the hole in his neck 3 x daily where the abscess was drained. Also need to clean out his ears and wash his mouth and eyes daily. He is on the road to recovery. Not 100% there yet, but so happy to have him back at home and out of danger!

I hope that no dog-lover would ever have to experience this, as this was the most stressful time I have had to endure! I thank the wonderful vets of Tygerberg Animal Hospital as they were wonderful and so caring (not only to Gunner but to me as well!)…

Anonymous said...

My mom raised dachshunds for 27 years & grew up showing them, so it was no surprise that we adopted a little bitty 7 week old dapple female. When my husband picked up the pup this morning, the man said she had a bacterial infection on her face & sent antibiotics with her. I also used to be a vet tech & noticed weeping lymph noids!! Off to our vet we went & surprise....puppy strangles!! My vet added a steroid to the mix & that is about all we can do since she only weighs 2 lbs!! I haven't seen puppy strangles in about 15 years, it isn't a common issue, but me & my luck!! Ofcourse, we will do whatever it takes to save her, but boy oh boy, what a tough road for such a tiny puppy!! To all potential puppy owners, when you look at that precious little face, make sure to feel those lymphnoids, it will only take a second & it is always best to be informed. Blessed Be!!

Anonymous said...

OMG My sweet baby CoCo was diagnosed with Puppy Strangles this morning. She is only 9wks old, we got her April 10 and I am just sick. I literally sat and cried in the Vet's office. Three months ago my darling husband graduated to angel status, three weeks later our big Chow/Rott mis Bubba Bear went to be with Daddy and now my new baby is sick. I feel so sorry for her but I have two excellent Vets (brothers) and they are very attentive and very comforting. She started out like an allergy attack Wednesday night and just keep getting worse. This morning she was really having trouble breathing, face had swollen and I had found a couple of bumps which I though were perhaps mosquito bites since we have those pesky things real bad. I decided I had to take her in and I am so thankful that I did. We caught it early and with God's help she will recover.

Minnesota said...

our Mastiff puppy was diagnosed with strangles in late April....it was HORRIBLE! :(...thank God our groomer knew a little about it and told me to get him in to the vet...it's been about 3 weeks now, he's off the antibiotics and almost done with the steroids...he's bounced back quite well and has lots of energy again which our older dog is NOT happy about:)now were just patiently waiting for his hair on his face to grow back....i took him to his first puppy obedience class last week and everyone thought he'd been playing in the dirt b4 we got there...any one whos been thru this know remember how long it took for the hair to grow back or if even will...our vet says that it most likely will....

Anonymous said...

My rottie 13 weeks old has this awful disease!! Went to vet a week ago for shots and 4 days later he was sick.Started out with drainage from the eyes. thought it might be infection in eye. went to vet she thought it was as well. Antiboitic and ointment for his eyes. That night my hubby said did she say anything about the white spots on his mouth, no. Next day his lymph nodes on his neck where the size of small orange's! So we rush back to the vet and they say he has the Strangles. Give him steroid shot and pills to start tomro. It is so horrible to see your little puppy like this and they can not tell us how they are truly feeling!!! We also have a boxer who is 3 yrs old and has problems with her ears. My son was wanting to help this morning and give Gaines his med's and put the ear ointment in his eye's. I didn't find this out until I noticed it on the counter. washed his eye's out and hoping that this doesn't cause more problems. Will go back to the vets in am, if anything changes!

Anonymous said...

Does there seem to be an ill-effects later on in a dog's life that has had Puppy Strangles?

TorontoVet said...

None whatsoever.

Springlabs said...

I have a puppy with the symptoms described. She first showed signs of it with sore eyes. The vet showed me the small white pimples on her eyelids and she was treated with antibiotics and steroid eye drops. These did not seem to help so she had a different antibiotic and an injection of antibiotics and steroids. During this time she developed lumps on her body which erupted and ouzed a sticky pinkish fluid. After about 12 days it was decided she may be better on injections rather than oral medication and she was admitted, where she is at the moment. She has may more ousing lumps but some of the original ones are now healing. Her eyes no longer have the white pimples and although there are still some in her ears they are not so visible. She has lost a lot of weight and her skin feels tight. She is now just over 3weeks from the first signs of this and we are hoping she is turning a corner. Unfortunatley this weekend one of the puppy owners called and has informed me that their puppy has similar symptoms. Their vet is giving the puppy steroids and antibiotics so have caught it quickly and I am hoping they will not have to go through the same as my little puppy. Can you tell me if there is a trigger to this as I am wondering if a insect bite or something in the grass, ground could have started this over reaction of the immune system. I had 8 puppies in all and I am concerned that if this is dereditary then the other puppies will fall ill as well. I have alerted the Sire's owner and she has told me they have never had a case of this before and they have 6 generations of his line. I have two generations and know three prior so again no problems in the history of either Dam or Sire. Please help me to understand what this is and how it can be prevented as I am now reluctant to breed any more labradors. Also could I have done more to ensure this didn't happen, am I to blame in any way.

Springlabs said...

Sorry, forgot to ask how long this awful problem can go on. Please can you answer to my email as well. Thanks

TorontoVet said...

Hi Springlabs. My apologies about the delayed response. I hope this reply gets to you as I don't have your e-mail address. Puppy strangles is not caused by any of the things you mention in your post. Currently, there is no evidence of a trigger causing puppy strangles. It does not imply that the puppy has a weakened immune system. It occurs more commonly in a handful of breeds but does not mean all littermates will be affected. The most important part of treatment are HIGH DOSES of corticosteroids, like prednisone - NOT ANTIBIOTICS. This is not infectious. Dogs respond within 10-14 days and the disease does not recur. So go on, you have no reason to stop breeding these dogs!

Dr. Cliff

Kim said...

I have a 3 month old golden retriever. The breeder said he and some of his litter mates had the strangles at an early age. He has hair loss on his tail and back leg. He was treated with antibiotics. He has had several bouts of diarrhea and we just got him out of the hospital for parvo. He has had 1 round of vaccinations but still contracted parvo. He has diarrhea again. I was wondering if he will always have a weak immune system because of the strangles he had as a pup.

akhunners said...

I had never heard of puppy strangles until today. Apparently my 7 1/2 yr old lab, Moose, has a form of it called eosinophilic granuloma. After 7 days, 3 vet visits and an overnight hospital stay we just got a diagnosis from a canine dermatologist. Moose hasn't been able to eat or sleep, and just looks miserable! We are starting a steroid taper with antibiotics and eye ointment. Wish us luck!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I now have been introduced to puppy strangles. A female puppy from golden retriever litter of 9 showed a lot of swelling under her chin - from corner to corner of her mouth - it was hard and crusty and she noticebly clenched her teeth. A trip to the vet turned out to be a diagnosis of puppy strangles, which i had not heard about. I think we caught it in the early stages - she had her vaccinations a week ago, which i read is when it sometimes presents itself. Other than appearance she behaves normally - eats, drinks, is very lively. We've started the 14 days of steroids - wish us luck that this will be the only medication she will be on

Anonymous said...

Adopted a 4 month old pup from the local humane society. He was just the sweetest thing in the world - lively, playful and just a great pup. He had his first vaccination and 9 days later started to lose interest in playing and seemed depressed. He became very lethargic so we took him to the vet whom pointed out the glands on the side of the neck that were swollen. He was diagnosed with puppy strangles. He has been in for two overnight IV treatments of high steroids and antibiotics. We are into our 6th day of treatment and while the swelling on one side went down quickly the other side is still quite large which makes it hard for him to swallow. He is eating soft food but still very lethargic. He looks very ill. From what I read it is a long process - we just hope he makes it as we are encouraged some times and discouraged others... very emotional thing to see a pup go through. :(

Anonymous said...

Please could you advise me by posting a reply on your page. I am distraught and really need some support. My puppy has been mis diagnosed 5 times. When he first showed signs he was treated for a sprained leg, I wasnt happy as he got worse. Unable to walk and then began getting fluid coming from his ears. he was then treat for an ear infection. he has worsened and i noticed lumps all over his body, his eyes ulcerating so I googled his symptoms I took him back to the vet ( advising of my findings PS ) and he has agreed with dianosis and has given the pup the anti biotic synulox which does not seem to help and i have read that steroids should be used. The vet was already a little bit annoyed that i had managed to diagnose the condition by googling his symptoms so i really dont know how to approach the vet for steroid treatment. How long should i percivere with the anti bios alone? please please help x

TorontoVet said...

It is so unfortunate that this has befallen you and your dog. While I cannot make a diagnosis while sitting at my desk, the possibility of puppy strangles is very reasonable. I would seek another opinion immediately. If you live near a veterinary college, emergency clinic, or local SPECIALTY CLINIC, I would be seeking their services there as soon as possible.
Keep me posted and best of luck.

Anonymous said...

thank you for replying, the vet has diagnosed it, pup has ulcers on eye rims with hair loss, hair loss also on his muzzle and lots of tiny ulcers begining there. He has fluid coming out of ears, ears are ulcerating also, He is unable to walk, very wobbly, his anus is ulcerated and his toes are begining to do the same. He has huge glands and lots of hard lumps along his back and tummy. Im frightened if i dont get this early i will lose him because he cries constantly and cannot be touched without screaming out. Can I ask my vet tomorrow to prescribe the steroid and if he refuses I dont know what else to do because ive tried contacting other vets who just state " take him back to the vet he is registered with". Can I demand the steroids for him?

TorontoVet said...

Your dog isn't "registered" anywhere. You can take him wherever you wish. If he does not get the treatment you are seeking, get online, find the nearest veterinary college, emergency hospital, or SPECIALTY clinic, and be prepared to drive him there immediately.

Anonymous said...

My 7 week old plot puppy just got diagnosed with puppy strangles. Within 36 hours he had pus everywhere, he had sores all over. His skin and hair had started coming off. He is now on 5 different types of medication and hopefully will start to recover soon.

Sarah said...

Hi,

My puppy's face and mouth swelled up on the 21st of Feb, 3 days ago, and it was really scary to see him like that. Luckily the vet was good and did tests and diganosed puppy strangles within an hour. He was given a shot of penicilin & put on antibotics & started picking within a couple of hours. I just hope he keeps making such good progress

TorontoVet said...

Dear Sarah,

If antibiotics were the only medications prescribed and the puppy is responding favorably, it's not strangles the puppy has.

Dr. Cliff

Amy said...

My Golden had it when she was a puppy, and even though it was painful for her-- once the steroids did their thing she had a very healthy life (other than the occasional ear/skin flare-up). She just recently passed at 14; I hope her long life gives hope to those of you with young ones still struggling through it.

stephanie said...

i feel so lost ..my lovely great dane Bella gave me a litter of 15 adorable puppys and after i had them get thare first set of shots one of the little brindle boys started swelling up under the jaw , his nose, and his lips 12 hours later...i rushed him to the vet to find out he had puppy strangles ...i know its a gennetic thing but what i dont know is does my whole litter have the same issue because the 1 pup has it or is it an isolated case ? bella's first litter of pups were compleatly healthy not a problem like this in any of them and im doing my very best to be a responsibal breeder . i looked up under every search to get some answers but all i get are conflicting and very confusing statements . please if any one has anything thay can tell me about this illness email me at EEwindwalker@comcast.net . my sick puppys is on prednisolone 5mg and clavamox 62.5mg his swelling went down drasticaly the first night but it looks like its starting to swell up just a little bit more ..it goes back and forth ..he's bin on thease meds since 3/10/11 . i just need to know that im doing the right things for him...he may be 1 in a litter of 15 but right now he's the most important one in the bunch ...please if you can tell me anything i need some help my vets more of a amish farmers vet "i live in Pa" i almost think this is the first time he'd seen anything like this he had the whole office in that med room looking over the pup saying "see this is what a textbook case of puppy strangles looks like"...thank you for any help or advice

Paige said...

the said the antibiotic should clear her eyes, well 7 days later bk for chk up visit and she had gotten crust at the corner of her mouth her nose and wehn I gave her a bath the day befor I was brushing her and I noticed I pulledout hair and a BIG scab then I lookoed at her neck, OMG she had a HUGE open sore u could see down in her neck I started screaming and crying. But, puppy strangles was trying to kill my 2lb 11 week old shitzu, named Bella. I got her when she was 4 weeks old and from day 1 she has been sick. She never played all she would do is sleep and lay on my neck with her neck around mine. I really thought even when she got better that she wouldn stay that way cause thats all she knew. NOT!!!She is 14.1/2 weeks old and is full of JOY. She is getting better. With over 800.00 dollars and pain killers and antibiotics she is finally getting to be a puppy. Thank u Jesus for my little miracle..

Louie J said...

Hello there, my poor little bichon has had similar symptoms over the past week. he has pastules on his ears, eyelids, penis, anus, and ESPECIALLY on his nose/mouth... started with golf ball sized lymph nodes, but those have gone down ever since he started the prednisone and antibiotics. the vet at first didn't think it was puppy strangles, however I feel like she will change her mind tomorrow on the follow up. at least the right meds were given. overall it hurts so bad because I hate to see him go through this...it is so painful and he cant play/eat/poop in peace. i wish there was some way to cleanse his sores because the blood has accumulated and clumped all over his nose... he is so sensitive. he has been on meds for about 5 days now i hope the sores start to heal. i don't care if he has scars, I just want my little mel to make it through. i want to run run run in the backyard with him and go on drives with his head out the window, just praying for him to get better. i sometimes doubt how he can get better after suffering so much from this horrible condition

TorontoVet said...

Amy, thanks for sharing the great news and your words of encouragement to all readers. Paige, puppy strangles isn't "trying to kill" your puppy. It is an auto-immune disease and we don't understands why it happens but we do know how to treat and cure it - great news for your puppy!
Stephanie, vets are often afraid to give the appropriate dose of steroids to a puppy. That said, the dose is 2 mg/kg of body weight (so a 10 lb dog, about 5 kg, gets 5 mg of prednisone twice daily, or 10 mg once daily - ensure the dose is appropriate for your dog. Great news, Louie J, sounds like your pup is on the mend.

LoveMySadie said...

This has been so incredibly helpful! I have a 6 month old hound mutt who suddenly developed swollen glands in her neck overnight - the size of golf balls. First trip to the vet - they lanced and drained part of it, decided it was an infection - gave us an antibiotic. Less than a week later, we noticed little lesions all over her body, and a second lump on her neck. Took her back to the vet -- they put her on a different antibiotic. Still nothing. About a week later, she was still oozing from her lesions, running a slight fever, and this time the trip to the vet brought up the mention of possible "puppy strangles", although she doesnt present the usual swollen face/nose area that most cases do, as well as the fact that she is a little older than most cases. This time, the vet sent off blood work, biopsies, etc. Put her on a third antibiotic. Thought it might be "Blastomycosis", which is why they didn't do the steroid immediately. Still another trip to the vet after lethargy, fever, swollen and achy joints....the speculation (after the tests came back negative for Blasto and Lymphoma) is that it is either Panniculitis or Strangles. The et took her off Rimadyl, gave her a shot of Prednisone, put her on Cephlex -- and she is still lethargic, but the lesions on her body are scabbing over. Today, for the first time, I noticed little white bumps in her lips and starting to form on her nose. I guess my question is -- even with her being older, and not presenting the extreme swollen nose/eyes/ears...can this still be "strangles"? I cant get into the vet-dermatologist for a 10 days, and it's been almost a month of misdiagnosis...

TorontoVet said...

At 6 months of age, I understand the misdiagnosis. That said, sterile panniculitis and juvenile cellulitis (strangles) are treated exactly the same way: steroids. If, for example, your dog is 50 lbs, he should be getting 50 mg of prednisone daily to start, that's 2 mg/kg of body weight. Keep me posted!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to mention that this disease does recur, I have a Britney spaniel that is a year old and at 4 months she got puppy strangles and was put on steroids and antibiotics, she is now a year old and dealing with it again.. and is once again on steroids and antibiotics, my vet said in his whole career he has only seen eight dogs with this disease and none that had a second episode. He believes because she is in heat it caused the relapse of the disease.

Heather said...

Long story as shot as possible here. We have a litter of 2 week old Feist (rat terrier) pups. At 10days old pup #1 is having problems breathing and has a lump on the lower jaw on one side, so we take him to a vet that is open on the weekend. Lanced the lump and given antibiotics to treat the diagnosed puppy strangles. At 14 days old and pup's breathing has improved but the lump is still growing. So we go to our regulat vet. IT IS NOT PUPPY STRANGLES, he said. This is something that has been passed to the pup thru the milk from the mother. A stronger antibiotic and the lump was cut open so that it could be kept open and continue to drain.
Today the puppies are 15 days old and we went back to our vet with a second pup whith the same symptoms as the first, as well as the first pup to get checked out and the mother. Puppy 2 was put on the same treatment as the first and the mother was given an injection of antibiotic and another in pill form to take at home. These will be passed on to the pups while nursing.
My point being is that you should check for common symptoms and make sure that your puppy is of the expected age and has the correct symptopms of puppy strangles. Had I not done the research and paid attention to the symproms, I might have lost one or more of my little ones and possibly the mother, who may need to have a mastectomy of the affected breats. Know your animals and use the resources available to you.
Thank you for this blog, so that I could inform myself and help my babies!

Anonymous said...

I have a pup that has strangles he had lumps on the back of his neck and the side of his ears they have burst and poison has came out of him he has ben giving storids today and an injection so im hoping he will be better soon i have another dog that keeps licking his wounds and im just worried he might get sick can you please tell me if my pup will be ok and my other dog ok

Julie said...

My son and nephew found two puppies that are approximately 2 weeks old and were abandoned. I started bottle feeding them and then noticed all the symptoms of puppy strangles in one of them (blister like lesions filled with puss on stomach, groin, and nose, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, and infected eyes with severe discharge). I began some prednisone and amoxicillin. I have no idea how much he weighs. I am guessing maybe 1/2 a pound and I have no money for vet treatment. I got some prednisone from my dad and the amoxicillin from the local feed store. Does anyone have any idea how much prednisone I should administer? I am wanting to make sure I am giving enough to help. His lymph node swelling appears to have gone down some. I am only giving maybe 1 mg per day. Any helpful tips and information would be greatly appreciated!! you can e-mail me any responses to 1jewls@gmail.com Thank you, Julie.

Anonymous said...

My 9 week old clumber spaniel was diagnosed with puppy strangles at Angell Memorial in Boston. He spent 2 days in the CCU there and has not been home for 4 days. Chowder is on antibiotics, prednisone, eye ointment and pain killers. I noticed today he seems to be up and down, one good day one bad day. Is this normal?

Terra said...

Omg.. those images made me want to cry..those poor babies.. I just recently found out about puppy strangles in this article (http://www.findavet.us/2011/08/treat-dogs-juvenile-cellulitis/) Thank you for your article I will be bookmarking yours as well!

Barb said...

We had a litter of Dachshunds and one of the pups had issues. At 8 weeks the buyer wanted to take him even though I say his eye lid puffing up. I caved in and gave her the eye medication I had on hand. I asked the buyer to bring the pup to me right away when she called with the problem but she waited 2 plus days and instead went to a vet I do not know. He wanted $400.00 just to do testing with out meds to help him. Finally she called me and I drove as fast as I could to get the puppy and I gave her her money back and from there I took the little darling into my vet. By this time he looked terrible.... The minute my vet saw him he said puppy strangles. No tests no money except for a office visit and all the meds. Dillion was put on four medications including a pain killer at my request. For two weeks I had to force Dillion to take his meds..his jaws hurt him so badly and I put him on soft food..The meds were Prednisone and many others. Dillion is doing so much better and he pustules are drying up, He is off the prednisone and the doc is treating his eyes which is the only problem left. Dillion will be scared from his ordeal.
ALWAYS get another opinion and do not wait if you feel glands on the side of his neck growing large. We are a small family breeder and I have never seen this before. When I got the puppy back I gave her her money and drove off to see the vet ASAP. I do not remember the drive. By this time Dillion was getting worse and becoming very ill. If she had brought the pup back to me sooner he may not have the scars he will have now.
The good news is Dillion is getting much better but he will scar. I am not sure about his living conditions IE sell him or keep him, now as I am still treating him for his eyes the very last issue.
Now please correct me if I am wrong but this is not a genetic problem handed down from his mom and dad (we have both) but he can give it to his pups if he is used to bred.
Not to worry dog lovers out there it does get better with proper vet help. Do not try and 2nd guess this one. A vet is not a maybe in this illness. It is a must! Not all vets are the same and the first vet would have let poor little Dillion get worse and worse while he ran tests where my doc knew what it was just by seeing him still in my arms!!!!Get a 2nd opinion. Most vets offer a first visit first for a well baby check.
This is a hands on illness. You can't mess around as all the meds must be taken as prescribed. and you have to get a strong stomach as the pup is dripping pus often rubbing his face on mine. Deal with it. If you bred you must deal with many things over the years and if this pup is your baby he/she will get better but can not bred puppies as it can be past on from him. Hang in there your baby will get better but will be scared for life.
The vet on this site is a good source and I like him/her. Good advise and I will be back to this group/site.
Good work doc/vet!

Hang in there everyone be aggressive with the medication and do not miss or put off the meds on this one...No way. He/she needs every drop until the vet says stop the medication. Dillion is doing much better but he will scar. I sure will the buyer brought him back to me right away.
Darling Dachshunds

Melissa said...

Hey TorontoVet!

I am in Windsor with a 12 week old Curly puppy who is responding VERY well to Prednisone (20mg daily for two weeks, then weaning and 500mg of Cephalexin BID). I am a Lab breeder (the good kind LOL) so caught very early with just a few small pustules in the ear, weepy eyes etc.

She is seeing my regular vet and just yesterday we went to Michigan State, we're looking for a consensus...When do you vaccinate these puppies?

My girl was 7 weeks for her first vaccine on the Dodds protocol, she only got a Distemper and Parvo (MLV) and at 10 weeks was due for another shot, I did not give because she was so ill. Now our vets cannot agree what should be done (and when) as far as vaccines go. Any insight? It is truly appreciated. feel free to email at melissa at lastcalllabs dot com

Briarwood Pups said...

I learned about Puppy Strangles yesterday. In all our years, we've never seen it before, but the pups in this litter did get two things I've never given them before and one of the items was Cestex because they had tapeworms.

I did see one pimple the other day, but because the pup was already taking colloidal silver (acts similar to an anti-biotic), she didn't break out in lesions. But her lymph node swelled to extraordinary proportions. I had some homeopathy on hand that I gave her yesterday, then found a vet to fit me in where I got my diagnosis and walked out with steroids and ABs.

This morning, about 60 hours after the original swelling of the lymph glands, the area opened and drained. So once the symptoms are cleared up and gone - no pustules, no swollen glands, how do you know when the puppy is in the clear?

Ashlin in B.C said...

My 6month old cane corso Italiano has been frighting mange for the past month and two nights ago her face started to swell up , last night it looked like her eyes were bleeding, her mouth is bleeding and this morning her eyes are swollen shut she can't hold herself up anymore . I did take her to the vet yeserday and he didnt even look at her, got told there is nothing he could do but let the antibiotics work that she is already on for the mange. so I rushed her to the vet this morning and she is there now and I am waiting for the phone call but everything I read today points to puppy strangles .

Briarwood Pups said...

This is one of the sites I found when researching puppy strangles and the first-hand experiences helped me, so I'm sharing mine.

I noticed the question about vaccination protocols and so I'm going to address that, as well, since we attempt to raise our pups as holistically as possible.

Parents minimally vax'd, puppies 9 weeks old, very petite, no vaccs yet. They had chemical wormer administered because they were not eating enough bulk with diatomaceous earth to be naturally de-wormed. This particular pup's digestive tract was being affected by the worms between wormer, so I treated with parvaid and colloidal silver just to be certain that the digestive tract didn't suffer at all. We've used these products for YEARS with no ill effects.

About a week after everyone was totally in the clear from worms, etc., this little girl's lymph nodes swelled horribly and I started her right away on homeopathy. Her neck was so stiff that if she tried to look toward the food or water bowl, she'd tip herself over. I had to hold the food and water up to her mouth so she could eat and drink. I think because she was already on colloidal silver, we only saw one little blister on the vulva and other than that, just the swollen glands.

The vet wanted her on steroids for a month, but after heavy research, I chose alternative therapies. The core of her treatment was to detoxify the body with Waiora Natural Cell Defense. 2.5 days after the swelling began, the lymph gland burst to the outside and I have been putting CS drops on it to prevent infection. I also have some homeopathic treatments on order. But here we are a week after the initial swelling, no pustules anywhere, no more swollen glands, and a pup whose energy and drives now match her littermates'. We will be going to the vet tomorrow for a checkup and I know we have a couple more weeks of no symptoms till we can count ourselves in the clear, but I'm amazed at what a good detox program can do for auto-immune issues. I'd read about it, but hadn't seen it myself.

Even though she was stiff, she never cried out with pain like some of the testimonials here. But I cannot thank everyone enough for sharing your experiences because it really helped me understand what we were up against!

TorontoVet said...

Thank you for sharing your experience with this. Unfortunately I won't sugar-coat the following:
I have little interest, and far less patience, for the "treatments" you describe.
If your child or you had intestinal parasites, would you use diatomaceous earth? Colloidal silver? Homeopathy? Not only are you endangering the lives of your pets, but you are administering things as charlatans once did. I see parasitic infections, viruses (parvo for one), and bacterial infections that debilitate and kill dogs and cats. Not vaccinating your puppies and using an appropriate deworming agent at this crucial time is both irresponsible and unethical.
Puppy strangles is a disease where the immune system is actually working TOO HARD, thereby requiring the need for steroids. Your belief that "detoxifying" the body is of help is just that: your belief - there is no scientific basis for this claim.

Beck said...

I'm at a total loss now!!Our precious little 8 week old pup was diagnosed 2day with puppy strangles but we were told it was much like a cold. He started with 1 eye infected. I thought like everyone else, it was a bite. I kept it clean but within a few days it was in both eyes. I thought maybe a cold then? Well,I had also been worried because he hiccups a lot. Like hours long! I read it wasn't anything to worry about unless they choked or if it was hrs long, maybe get them checked. He started choking, I talked to my husband and we'd decided on Monday(today) he'd go to the vet. Plus, his diet was not good at all and his urine was very strong smelling and an orange/brownish color. I assumed maybe he was dehydrated. He went outside to my mother in laws, just across the yard, I was about to shower, and she called asking if he had the mumps! I thought"well how silly."(U just have to know her) but she was on to something. His whole neck/throat was swollen, mainly more on 1 side but it was very scary. I got some ice water because I was sure maybe he had a sore throat, called my hubby, he was for sure he'd been stung. Within 2 hrs his whole neck/throat was so swollen he couldn't bark at all. We gave him some milk later because he just wasn't eating a thing! Nor drinking. We knew it was his throat. We have a friend who worked at a vet tell us to give him benedryl and that made him act like he was stone and so crazy. We went to bed when he finally calmed down but during the night, he was so restless. He would cover his eyes and was pitiful. I'd carry him to his pad and he'd use it but he was about lifeless. Legs just hanging nearly. He was not breathing too well and he was then rubbing on his ear. I thought, oh no, an earache too! So, my daughter's boyfriend works at a vet. He carried him because I had to carry my mil to the dr. They called and said it was the puppy strangles, a cold basically and they would send us some drops. The steroids and an antibiotic. So now I'm very confused. I just thought well, maybe I'll look it up. I'm so upset. I read somewhere where you need to be particular about their diet if you want to help their immune system but I'm not sure what the best choice in foods are. I buy puppy food, name brand, soft(because of his throat) he had eating hard puppy food from the beginning but I bought new food today which he devours!! I just want to do this right so he won't have a relapse and I'm also goin to go back to the vet for further instruction. So, it's not a cold? I've seen pictures and his eyes resemble the pics on the net but I want to think it's a cold. ? Thanks you guys!

TorontoVet said...

Strangles isn't a cold. It's believed to be some auto-immune disorder, which is why steroids are the key to treating this illness. Antibiotics are not necessary, though are often prescribed to prevent secondary infections. The dog should do well as long as steroids are used and at the appropriate dose.
Best of luck and thanks for posting!

Wendy said...

I am currently going through "puppy strangles" with my miniature dachshund pup. I found a GREAT vet who prescribed prednisone and antibiotics and within a few days his symptoms decreased. We kept him on it for a few weeks then slowly started to decrease the prednisone but it started to flare up again after about a week so we increased the pred and hes been on that for a month so starting tomorrow we are starting to decrease it again and see how it goes. The picture looked just like his mouth! His ears were really infected as well and his lymph nodes were terribly swollen and pussy. All of that has gone away now but his ears still are kinda scabby and his chin still has some scabby stuff on it. How long does it take to completely heal from this? He was 10 weeks old when it started and is now almost 16 weeks.

TorontoVet said...

I've never had to treat a dog that long but I don't think it's unusual. As long as other causes have been eliminated and the appropriate dose of prednisone is prescribed, the dog should improve with time.

Julie said...

Our new baby - a black lab named Rose has many of the symptoms of puppy strangles but not all. She had a fever of 103.8, bumps inside her ears and a few on her eye lids, painful front legs and she was very lethargic. No swollen lymth nodes and nothing on her face. She spent the night at the vet getting fluids and steroids started. She is home now but her front legs are still very painful. Could this be something else? She wants to play but hurts too bad.

Anonymous said...

Had a lab puppy with strangles in 2008. After multiple vet visits with several different vets, I finally found a great journal article written by a vet on puppy strangles and went in to yet another vet clinic armed with the article....thank goodness the vet was open to reading the article and she proceeded with treatment as described in the article and happy to report he recovered completely with only 1 possible side effect- he is absolutely huge...much more so than any of the others in the litter, including mom & dad. The worse part that Im not sure was even necessary is the vet had us bring him in every few days to drain the lumps that formed on his body....back of neck and abdomen...it was horrible and to hear him cry and yelp each time was misery.....even those in the waiting room were horrified when they would drain the sites, but thankfully he is as healthy and happy as can be these days! Wish more vets knew about strangles so puppies didnt have to suffer needlessly.

TorontoVet said...

Glad to hear the dog is doing well. Remember, the dog might have suffered a bit, but also made a full recovery, completely worth it. It's great to have a vet who was open to your suggestions.

Anonymous said...

Hi there , my Springer spaniel puppy developed this at 5/6 weeks of age . I understand it isn't a hereditary condition but the father had it as a puppy too .Is it just pure coincidence ?

Unknown said...

we have a 5 week old yellow lab puppy on hold that has just been diagnosed with puppy strangles. The breeder has offered us to change pups as there is still some available (ours is the only 1 affected). Is there any long term side effects from the prednisone? Will this effect the puppys growth? Should we pick a healthy pup instead?

TorontoVet said...

The risk of long-term effects is very low. Consider assuming these risks, keep the puppy, and have it treated. If treated appropriately, the disease will be cured and you'll be thankful you kept the little pup.

GEORGE said...

Would Viaderm-KC hide the postules? I have a litter of Bulldog puppies with a rash over their heads, I applied this and they all seem to be getting better. They had this rash before they got their first vac's I thought they were bites. I am wondering if they are allergic to the Puppy Gold I was mixing in their food.

TorontoVet said...

George, a rash on their heads doesn't sound at all like Horner's. More like puppy pyoderma or folliculitis, maybe even Demodex (mites). You should have a vet look at it.
Viaderm has everything in it: an antifungal, an antibiotic, and a steroid, therefore many conditions will respond favorably to it, we just don't know which one!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this blog. Like many, I had never heard of puppy strangles 'til my 5 month old Havanese pup was diagnosed with it on March 16. At first he was diagnosed with a severe eye infection, but within the week and on the 3rd visit to the vets, a locum diagnosed the strangles. She had only seen it 4 times in her career, but we caught it early. After only 3 days on Prednisone, his lymph nodes were back to normal size. After 10 days of prednisone, he is now being weaned off it over 10 days.

On the very first day of weaning, he started panting in the evenings, and this has continued. He is also constantly rubbing his face on everything and anything.

I hope it's not coming back. What signs do I look for? How long will his recovery take? Although he's much happier, he still doesn't play, or even run for more than a few seconds...mostly just lots of face rubbing...Are we talking weeks of recovery here?

Again, many thanks for this super informative blog.

Miss Ellie said...

My 10 week old Brussels Griffon – rough coat – developed a small, fluid-filled cyst on his right eyelid on Monday morning. By Monday night there were several more and some had started bursting. I searched the web for a possible cause and came up with canine conjunctivitis. I began treating topically with erythromycin. By Tuesday evening, there were pustules on his left eyelid, those too, erupting. His right eye was partially closed due to swelling and the left eye was following suit. Wednesday morning we took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with Puppy Strangles. I’ve had dogs all my life and have never heard of this malady. The breeder has been breeding Brussels Griffons for a decade and has never heard of it. I was shocked when I found out it could be fatal and how rapidly it progresses. Luckily, the vet diagnosed it quickly, gave him a shot of steroids and he is on daily dosages of oral steroids. I am thankful I didn’t continue treating this without the guidance of a vet. From what I’ve gleaned from this website, he may have a bit of permanent hair loss above his right eye but compared to what could have been, my pup is going to be fine.

Alyson South Africa said...

Willow is a rescued border collie / spaniel cross who is approximately 6 months old. 5 days ago I noticed her submandibular glands were slightly swollen. The next day the right hand side gland was the size of an orange, irregular in shape and hard to the touch. The left hand side one was unchanged. I immediately took her to our local vet who said that she thinks it could be Lymphoma but cannot be 100% sure. The doctor aspirated the gland and found that the cells looked normal with no multiplication?
In the meantime the vet administered a Rimadyl injection and gave me a course of anti-biotics (Synulox – 250mg twice a day) and 50mg dose of Rimadyl once a day. We have been giving Willow the medication for two days now and the glands have significantly reduced in size.
There are no sores or pimples on her face or body and no hair loss. Her appetite is normal but she does have a slightly raised temperature. She is not lethargic and is running around the farm with the other dogs as usual.
Willow is booked in tomorrow for a biopsy and I am now wondering whether we should allow the procedure to take place. She was spayed 3 weeks ago and I’m not sure whether putting her under the stress of another stay in hospital would be worth it.
Please let me know what you think it could and whether her symptoms warrant the biopsy.
The poor girl was dumped on the side of the road in a box covered in ticks and fleas, riddled with worms and anaemic. She needs a break!

TorontoVet said...

Lymphoma in a 6 month-old is unlikely, but not impossible. The mandibular lymphadenopathy can be caused by some infection brought on by fleas or ticks, or more likely puppy strangles. I don't think a biopsy is unreasonable, as long as her vitals are ok and she's no longer anemic.
I would have used steroids and not non-steroidal anti-inflammatories in this case.
Let me know what the biopsies say!

TorontoVet said...

Dear Unknown and Miss Ellie, so glad that your vets did such a great job! Thanks for posting!

Karla said...

I have mini Aussie that was diagnosed a week ago. He's only 10lbs. My vet prescribed 3 days of 5mg prednisone twice a day w/ 2cc cephalexin 3 times a day and from there reducing the pred. to once a day. He has regained the ability to walk but after 2 days at the lower dosage his muzzle is starting to swell when it was just small pimples. How long should he be at the higher dosage before I start to bring him down? Also would you consider 10mg for a10lb puppy a high enough dosage of prednisone?

TorontoVet said...

The dose seems fine. I think the dog simply needs the prednisone for a longer period of time. When he gets better, you wean him down (but listen to your vet!).

BeysLady said...

I have a beautiful 9 week old Mastiff pup that was diagnosed with this a week ago. He is responding very well to his medications. My question to Toronto Vet - is this known to be genetic/hereditary? We purchased him with the intent of using him at stud in the future.

Anonymous said...

13 years ago we brought home a cute black lab who was eight weeks old.Two weeks later,his face stated breaking out.After many trips to the vet over the next week and after many treatments used to combat this condition,he was diagnosed with puppy strangles!He was immediately put on prednisone and within 6 hours,his face stated to go down and he started to really come around although the steroids definitely interfered with housebreaking!Risks versus benefits!We kept his sores cleaned with peroxide and just kept them as clean as possible.Within a few weeks,his face was down to normal size and his sores were cleared.I always said I would be happy if we had him for 5 years and here he is@13 years old!He had minimal face scarring with some bone deformities but nothing that would ever hold him back from living a normal life.Anyway,now it will soon be time for him to go run with the big dogs as he is a true senior with pain issues!Anyway,to let you all know,yes these pups do lead a normal life but they are a lot more special just because they started out so rough...keep the faith,just early life scars.They build resilience for the many other injuries that your dog will encounter in the span of his life..

Anonymous said...

My little pup has puppy strangles and my vet has been amazing...., Is there anything that i could use to help treat the holes caused by the ulcers?? cream etc??

Bichon lover said...

Hi,
I have a litter of beautiful bichon's, and one of the females at 5 weeks has been diagnosed with this nasty disease. She is on an antibiotic, and prednisone. She has been on the meds two days now, and she already seems to be in better spirits. One of my questions is, she has a huge lump on the side of her torso. Its like the size of a small bouncy ball you would get out of a machine as a child. Is this a normal symptom? Also, this is the puppy my daughter had already decided we were keeping. Is there a risk in breeding her, and that she could pass this on to her puppies? Also, any chance this is contagious? She is still playing with her five litter mates. Also, I appreciate this blog very much, our vet in town did not have much knowledge of this disease. I learned more reading this posts, than anything. And I am thankful that they have given me hope that our little tiny girl can pull through this. I believe it was caught pretty early on. It started with goopy swollen eyes, and that is what first brought me to the vets. A day later I felt the bump on her side and brought her back.

Anonymous said...

We have a 3 week old lab pup. Her Mom died from childbirth complications and we are bottle feeding her and her 2 brothers. From this blog we think she might have puppy strangles. She has stopped eating and is lathargic and has a swollen neck or lymph node. She cries often too and seems dizzy when she walks but then again she is only 3 weeks old and is just learning to walk. We have a vet bill from trying to save the mom and cant afford to take her to the vet. Its heartbreaking especially after we have just lost her Mom! We have some prednisone. Would it be ok to try it or could we hurt her if its not puppy strangles? Renee

Peter Flynn said...

My puppy has been on treatment that stopped last week. Our vet booked us for vaccinations but he has gone on holiday and left a visiting vet in charge. I noticed some lumps on his lower eye lid and thought it might be a relapse but I'm not sure and seeing a new vet that may not have any experience of this illness is worrying me. What if he as his vaccinations after he vet misses the signs that the illness is still there?

Ava

Anonymous said...

Hi Toronto Vet.
I have a Black Lab/Red Bone Hound puppy. She is now 12 weeks old as of today and at 8 weeks of age got really sick. At first we thought she had sprained her leg and she seemed to be favouring it, but two days later she went completely lame in both back legs. As the week progressed, she got to the point where she couldn't walk at all. She was still eating and drinking, though not as much as she should have. We rushed her to the vet and she was diagnosed with Hypertrophy Osteodystrophy, HOD. It is a very painful disease and what made the vet think that she had this as we couldn't touch any of her joints, even very lightly, and if we did, she would scream in pain. It took 7 days of Antibiotics before she could even walk again. Towards the end she started developing what the vet thinks is now strangles. My poor Sasha has been through so much and HOD can also cause abscesses in around the mouth and face. She also started off with a yeast infection in both ears which turn into straight puss later. We now are going to start her on the steroids. She was first on a penicillin mix and presently she is on Novolexin. My question for you is, what can I use to clean out her abscesses. I have been using an Epson Salt wash which seems to help with the itching and a Polysporin which includes a numbing agent. I was just wondering if there was something better to use. Also I know that HOD is not widely known and is known only to large breed dogs and there is a question of it being related to the Distemper Virus. Presently she hasn't had any of her shots due to being sick. The vet is wary of giving to them her until she is better.
Sasha's Mom.

Lori said...

I have a 11 week golden with this and the vet started my 20 lb golden puppy with 5 mg if pred 2x a day. Lymph modes went down he was doing well and now 6 days after the start if steroids I'm noticing pimples on his chin according to you the dose was/ is too low. what would your recommendation be now? Dosage, length of time and when can he have his second set of shots?

Lori Lamb said...

I just had my 6 month old English Bulldog diagnosed today. She has had a swollen face before but it was determined it was just edema. We took antibiotics and antiinflammatoires. She was spayed 10 days ago and long behold her lymph node is the size of an apple. The vet drew some out with a needle today and it's def puss in there. He is going to drain it on Thursday and has already started antibiotics but wishes to wait on the steroids until after it has been drained. Poor baby gets tired easy but other that than she is a regular pup. However reading all of these comments make me say hindsights 20/20 because she had bits of time where she had limb pain and the swollen face. I am sooo glad we are getting it taken care of.

Piccolo's mum said...

My miniature dachshund is currently being treated for Puppy Strangles. We will be posting about her recovery. We self diagnosed our puppy and struggled to find a vet that had heard of the condition.

Full story and photos here

www.puppystranglescondition.com

Candace Cole said...

I just wanted to post our experience with PS here, in case someone needs reassurance at 2am like I did a couple of days ago.


The runt of our litter (German Shepard/ Rot) developed a marble size lump on her neck at 14 days old.It had developed in less than 12 hours and was running across her neck, almost like a collar. It was causing her to arch her neck to breath and she was having difficulty nursing for long periods of time. Only weighing 2 lbs, I was nervous to take her to the vet with no shots and the potential for illness. She began acting lethargic and wobbly on her feet within 4 hours of us noticing the bump. I decided to take her in to the vet where they diagnosed her with PS almost immediatly. The Vet admitted that he had only seen it in horses, but had heard of it occurring in some dogs. The vet lanced the bump and looked at the discharge under a microscope. There was no notable bacteria on the slide, but because welping pups are in such close contact to fecal matter and urine regardless of how clean you keep the area they are in, he prescribed antibiotics. She was also given a high dose of prednisone. Within an hour the lump, which had ultimatly swelled to a gumball size, was nearly gone. 36 hours later, she is now nursing vigorously and seems so much more comfortable. Her walking has also improved and her eyes seem less glazed over. In 2 days we are to return to the vet for another shot of prednisone and to have her lanced wound irrigated and flushed. Her antibiotic treatment is 1/2ml every 12 hours for 10 days. I thank God for such a fast acting and knowledgeable Vet. We are not out of the woods yet. It is a constant battle to keep the area clean and dry so that it can heal, but she seems to be feeling better and I know that is half the battle with pups this young.

Candace Cole said...

I just wanted to post our experience with PS here, in case someone needs reassurance at 2am like I did a couple of days ago.


The runt of our litter (German Shepard/ Rot) developed a marble size lump on her neck at 14 days old.It had developed in less than 12 hours and was running across her neck, almost like a collar. It was causing her to arch her neck to breath and she was having difficulty nursing for long periods of time. Only weighing 2 lbs, I was nervous to take her to the vet with no shots and the potential for illness. She began acting lethargic and wobbly on her feet within 4 hours of us noticing the bump. I decided to take her in to the vet where they diagnosed her with PS almost immediatly. The Vet admitted that he had only seen it in horses, but had heard of it occurring in some dogs. The vet lanced the bump and looked at the discharge under a microscope. There was no notable bacteria on the slide, but because welping pups are in such close contact to fecal matter and urine regardless of how clean you keep the area they are in, he prescribed antibiotics. She was also given a high dose of prednisone. Within an hour the lump, which had ultimatly swelled to a gumball size, was nearly gone. 36 hours later, she is now nursing vigorously and seems so much more comfortable. Her walking has also improved and her eyes seem less glazed over. In 2 days we are to return to the vet for another shot of prednisone and to have her lanced wound irrigated and flushed. Her antibiotic treatment is 1/2ml every 12 hours for 10 days. I thank God for such a fast acting and knowledgeable Vet....I hope that the vet here will take this information into consideration too! We are not out of the woods yet. It is a constant battle to keep the area clean and dry so that it can heal, but she seems to be feeling better and I know that is half the battle with pups this young.

Anonymous said...

i had a litter of puppys (collies) 2 of the little got puppy strangles, it took months to clear up, the little girl made a full recovery and is now in her new home the other 1 the boy still has it months on and been on steriods since he was about 8weeks old, he is still on steriods to this day, it is a very hard and upsetting thing to go through seeing the little mites going through it, hopefully it will clear up soon, iv read alot about it, it says it should start clearing up, it has a great deal to what it was, but not making any difference, hes been very lucky he was nearly put to sleep at the age of 8weeks hes now 5months old n getting better, lil fighter my lil boy,

Anonymous said...

to toronto vet

Is it safe for the dam to have future litters if she has had a litter with puppy strangles and has it had anything to do with the dam being overdue her first booster shot by 9mths when mated with that litter??? as confused what actually causes the pups to get it and whether the dam is fully responsible. hence why we all need to know if it's safe for the dam to carry on having future litters etc, please help!!!

shawna said...

Thanks for your story...i have a liter of two week old puppies and over the holiday weekend i noticed one of my pups had swollen lymph nodes....i thought it was an insect bite so i started doingwarm compresses on her neck...she was acting normal so i wasn't extremely worried...the next day it was worse she was having problems nursing and breathing.. So i took puppy and mother to the vet....the vet knew what it was as soon as she seen her..she is going on her second day of treatment and is now acting normal and nursing...shes even playing with her siblings. The vet told me i caught it early so she hadn't developed any of the skin issues just the swelling of the lymph nodes...your story just sounded so much like mine :-) hope all went well

Anonymous said...

My 6 month old German shepherd puppy got the puppy strangles. At first I thought she'd been bit my something as we'd been at the lake. Her symptoms started as a rash on her belly with lots of swollen spots, and a few spots on her muzzle that looked like mosquito bites. Couple days passed and the bumps looked worse not better so to the vet where blood tests and biopsy confirmed strangles. We were sent home with only antibiotic and Benadryl - she said to wait and see for steroids for at least three days. So by the next day her neck glands were swollen up like tennis balls and her face was swelling worse and sores were leaking all over her face and eyes bloodshot. I called the vet to say don't wait start her on the steroids and they refused. I was getting frustrated since all accounts I've heard say the antibiotic will only help secondary infections. So I insisted, and only when I said to copy my file so I could take her for a second opinion, did the vet then cave in and give the meds. I just mention all this not because I think my vet is bad, but because your the one home with your pet, the vet is not there 24/7, if they get worse its up to us to get what's needed. The vet was so concerned about the side effect of the steroid but the disease had to be stopped so I opt for the risk. I've added a glucosamine supplement to hopefully offset some of the harm from the steroid. If there's any other suggestions to offset some of the harmful side effects of steroids to a young dog please we'd appreciate any information. Also it's apparently rare for 6 months puppy to get this as normally would appear younger. Only two days into steroid treatment and her neck glands are dramatically smaller, swelling in her face is reduced, but lots of blisters remain on her face and chin and ears. Finally tho it's at least on the road to recovery.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Thanks to my two Vets I still have my baby :)

He is struggling along but proper protocol has been followed and yes Puppy Strangles Strikes again.

I have learned so much today and I thank you "Toronto Vet" for having the passion and sharing your knowledge to benefit all:)

What I would like to ask is if there is anything that can help pups face area? Anything at all in with regards to preventing the hair loss and or scaring?

Thank you so very much for this forum...it is much appreciated.

Sincerely,
Jackie

Jessie A. said...

We have 11 day old golden retriever/border collie puppies and of the litter of 11, 3 seem to have PS.

My wife actually saw the exact same symptoms on 2 week old pups on an episode of Animal Cops and remembered. She told the vet and the vet looked into it. The vet had never heard of it in dogs (had only heard of it in horses) and was extremely open to learning about it. She immediately wanted to lance, but then after reading about the differences she decided to wait and see if the meds reduce the swellings. She will lance if the pups begin to have difficulty breathing or suckling.

The ONLY symptom they have at this point is extremely swollen glands in their necks. They do not have any pustules on their face or ears at this point. My wife and I have hands on them so often that we caught it right away and took the two that were showing symptoms in right away on a Sunday morning on an emergency call.

We will take the mother and all the pups to the vet tomorrow just so the vet can see everyone and make sure there isn't something else that might be going on.

One male weighs 1.9 lbs, one male (the runt) is 1.1 lbs and a female that weighs 1.5 lbs. The math that my poor vet had to do to figure out dosages for such small pups was something else. The two larger pups have had shots of convenia (cephalosporin) and dexamethasone (glucocorticoid that is given less often) as well as an oral drug, prednisolone (glucocorticoid), given daily. The funny part is that the pharmacy only had grape flavored prednisolone…But the pups took it fine.

The third puppy (runt) started showing signs about 8 hours after the other two and so he has been given an oral dose of meds and is headed to the vet tomorrow for the shots. His symptoms are slower on onset and not as severe as the other two.

Tomorrow we are also planning to ask for an oral glucosamine to counteract effects the steroids could have on such young pups.

Anonymous said...

Hi Toronto Vet - my 6 month old great dane has been under very good, constant care of a vet. He's had strangles since 6 weeks. So long as he is on steroids everything clears up. As soon as he has tapered off them everything comes back. Do you have any suggestions for this long term issue? My vet is very concerned which really worries me. Thanks.

T . Peterson said...

It is very obvious that in most cases of puppy strangles, the pup is reacting to the vaccinations given. Please use common sense.

Anonymous said...

I have a 7-week old male black lab who was diagnosed with Puppy Strangles. He seems to have many of the classic symptoms, but a few of his symptoms have me concerned that the diagnosis may be wrong. In order of least to most concerning: 1)his head smells awful. I would assume that's normal, but it is such an awful smell, I would think somebody else would have mentioned it. 2) I can feel lumps (swollen Lymph nodes?) throughout is body-on his back and ribs, in addition to the ones near his face. 3) He can't/won't walk. At all. He will not put any weight on any limb, and if you try, he will fall rather than catch himself. When he was first diagnosed, it was only his rear legs, now it is all four. He can move them though (to scratch etc.) Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Can benadryl be given for the itching?