Animals

Mastitis in bitches - Symptoms and treatment

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Is your dog going through the period of lactation or post-weaning? Do you have a pseudo management? If your dog is in any of these situations, she could suffer canine mastitis. So, if you want to know more about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this common disease, just read this article.

The canine mastitis It consists of inflammation of the mammary glands, which is usually due to a bacterial infection. In general, this disease usually occurs in breastfeeding or sudden weaning and, to a lesser extent, in psychological pregnancies or pseudogestation. It is a more serious disease than one might think at first, since it puts the mother's life at risk, being able to give septicemia due to a blood spread, and the life of the puppies, since they drink milk with toxic substances, being able to This will end your life.

Infection of one or several breasts is usually caused by the entry of bacteria up the nipple. The most common etiologic agent is staphylococci, although it is not the only one. Others such as escherichia coli or streptococci can also participate in the process.

How is the pathogenesis of canine mastitis? Well, lowering the dog's defenses during postpartum, along with the wounds caused by the puppies' nails trying to stimulate the breasts with their legs to feed as well as the damage caused by the suction, can cause infection. If we add to this a poor cleaning, the probability of a mastitis increases greatly.

Symptoms of canine mastitis

If your animal has some of the symptoms that will be exposed below, do not hesitate to take it to a veterinary professional. The earlier a treatment is diagnosed and put in place, the more likely that both our dog and its puppies will recover.

Mastitis may occur subclinical, when the symptoms go unnoticed or in a way clinic, in which the clinical signs are evident.

One of the first general and most characteristic symptoms that we find in female dogs is loss of appetite. The animal will stop eating and lose weight. Hyperthermia, vomiting, diarrhea, malaise and tachycardia will also be present. The breasts will appear inflamed, painful, hard, as well as they may have abscesses and gangrene. If the symptoms worsen and are not controlled they can lead to a systemic infection.

Puppies will not increase the weight they owe a day. These can lead to death if they drink milk in poor condition or do not drink it because the dog is not left due to the pain it presents.

Diagnosis of canine mastitis

The veterinarian will perform the history, a clinical-lesional diagnosis as well as certain tests. The veterinarian should know if your animal has previously undergone a similar process, will observe the lesions and collect samples for later analysis.

Enter the analyzes that this will perform is the blood analytics. This may result in leukocytosis as well as alteration in the amount of platelets in the blood. Other tests are a biochemical profile, electrolyte control in addition to a urinalysis. In the cytology an increase in the number of degenerative neutrophils will be observed, being able to see bacteria. The culture Milk bacterial is very important. In this way, the bacteria that are involved in the process can be identified, which will affect the treatment.

Canine mastitis treatment

As you know, whenever your animal has an abnormality, you should consult your veterinarian. We should not apply our animals a treatment on our own, but we must follow what the veterinarian tells us and their guidelines.

The main point in the treatment of mastitis will be the administration of antibiotics. In short, it is to control the bacterial population and its recovery. Anti-inflammatories will be used to reduce swelling. The use of wet compresses and the emptying of the mammary glands favors the recovery process. If the mastitis is very advanced (with abscesses or grangrenous mastitis), they must go through the operating room to proceed with the removal of the breasts.

In relation to puppies, there is controversy to remove them from the mother or not. This has advantages and disadvantages. When we remove the pups, there is an abrupt weaning and the consequent accumulation of milk in the breast, which will further aggravate the process. If it is decided to do this, the appropriate treatment should be taken into account and applied. In cases where the puppies may be affected by antibiotics or other medications, they should be removed. The same will happen in cases where the disease is very advanced and has abscesses or mastitis is gangrenous. If, on the contrary, it is decided not to withdraw the puppies, it should be taken into account that the milk does not have the nutritional characteristics that they should be, being poorer.

When the treatment has been adequate, the prognosis will be favorable in a large part of the cases.

Canine mastitis prevention

Prevention measures for mastitis will be based primarily on the cleaning and disinfection. We always have to keep good hygiene guidelines, in order to avoid the spread of pathogens. After delivery, the breasts should be cleaned. This is done with moist and warm gauze. During the lactation period, the process will be repeated as many times as necessary.

The bed where the puppies are is the perfect place for pollution to occur. The hygienic measures here will be fundamental and should be carried out thoroughly. Fecal and urinary excretions of puppies should be removed. The more times it is done, the better.

Finally, we must always observe our animals. Ensure that they feed and drink, as well as no symptoms. For any anomaly or doubt, contact your veterinarian.

What is mastitis?

We can call mastitis a Bitch breasts infection It usually occurs during pregnancy and lactation. The main cause is the descent of the defenses that the mother suffers after the birth of her puppies.

This lack of defenses causes germs called staphylococci to settle in breast milk and from there to the breasts producing a painful infection for our dog.

In many cases, when the puppies suck, they instinctively push the breasts with the legs to extract the milk, thus scratching their mother's nipple with their sharp nails. It is at that moment when a mastitis can occur, that if it is not treated correctly it can end up affecting the puppies. Milk becomes toxic to them, and can even end their life.

The symptoms of canine mastitis

Knowing how to identify the symptoms of mastitis in our dog is essential to start treatment as soon as possible, relieve their discomfort and save the lives of small newborns.

If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from mastitis, pay attention to the first of the symptoms of this serious disease, which is thelack of appetitein the affected bitch. This lack of appetite, in addition to causing the consequent loss of weight in your dog, also makes her sad and heartless, conditions that could be confused with the typical symptoms of depression.

The mastitis symptoms in the dog are:

  • Pus secretion
  • Bloody Secretion
  • Swelling
  • Irritability
  • Signs of pain
  • Irritated breasts
  • Reddened breasts
  • Bumps
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Discomfort
  • Fever
  • Apathy
  • Increased heart rate
  • High temperature

Although all these symptoms together are proof that our dog suffers from canine mastitis, without a doubt the pain in the nipples is the clearest indication and at the same time the most dangerous since the dog can stop feeding the puppies.

In addition another serious consequence is the toxicity of the milk of the progenitor that can cause intoxication in the puppies, the appearance of tumors in the breasts and even the death of the newborn dogs.

Treatment of mastitis in bitches

If you have the slightest suspicion that your dog is suffering from canine mastitis, the first action will be go to the vet trusted to perform a physical exam, a blood test and a bacterial culture.

The treatment to follow is the administration of antibiotics to fight the infection and the application of hot water compresses that improve the condition of the breasts.

Not receiving adequate veterinary treatment can in an extreme case involve the removal of the affected breasts and the artificial feeding of the puppies, which implies an expensive process (in terms of time and effort) by the owner.

Causes of mastitis

This condition originates due to a downturn in the defenses of the mother, who is vulnerable to the attack of pathogenic germs, such as staphylococci, which enter your system through wounds caused by puppies in the breasts.

Mastitis requires treatment and it is important that you detect it on time, well in case the dog suffers it it can seriously compromise the quality of milk and lead to the death of puppies.

  • Decay and signs of pain evident upon contact with the breasts.
  • Abscesses or appearance of tumors in the breasts due to milk retention.
  • Diarrhea, vomiting and lack of appetite.

Symptoms in puppies

Because "toxic milk" affects puppies considerably, these, quickly begin to show the following symptoms:

  • Skin problems, hair loss or appearance of sores.
  • Weakening of litter puppies.
  • They complain constantly.
  • They suffer digestive disorders.
  • Puppies that lose weight quickly (in 24 or 48 hours) or do not gain weight for a couple of days.

In case two or more litter puppies present these symptoms, it is best to go to the veterinarian to have a milk quality test, which consists in measuring its pH. Normally the pH of breast milk is neutral, but in the case of mastitis it becomes acidic.

An avoidable disease

Although mastitis it's common too it's something easy to prevent. However, this prevention will require you to devote extra time to the hygiene of the dog and its general care.

The easiest way to prevent mastitis is to take hygienic measures as soon as the dog gives birth, constantly cleaning the breasts of the dog to prevent moisture from lending itself as a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. This should be done during the entire breastfeeding process.

The nest must also remain in optimal hygiene conditions, therefore you will have to clean frequently the depositions of the puppies to avoid that they step on them and transfer the germs through the claws.

You must watch the appearance of the breasts, as usual It is not a good sign that they are very hard, have bleeding wounds, sores or are red. In case you detect this type of irregularities you should go to the veterinarian immediately.

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