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Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

Haemorrhagic pneumonia in sled dogs caused by Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus - one fatality and two full recoveries: a case report

Gry Jaeger1*, Hege Kippenes Skogmo1, Øyvor Kolbjørnsen2, Hans Jørgen Søiland Larsen4, Bjarne Bergsjø3 and Henning Sørum4

Author Affiliations

1 Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Sciences, PO Box 8146 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway

2 Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Department of pathology, Sentrum, PO Box 750, N-0106, Oslo, Norway

3 Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Department of Bacteriology – Animals and Fish, Sentrum, PO Box 750, N-0106, Oslo, Norway

4 Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Department of food safety and infection biology, Section for microbiology, immunology and parasitology, PO Box 8146 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway

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Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2013, 55:67  doi:10.1186/1751-0147-55-67

Published: 11 September 2013

Abstract

In spite of yearly vaccination, outbreaks of canine infectious respiratory disease are periodically seen amongst domestic dogs. These infections compromise host defense mechanisms, and, when combined with other stressful events, allow opportunistic pathogens like Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus to create serious disease. Early recognition and treatment are tremendously important for a successful outcome in these cases. A polyvalent vaccine was given to 22 racing dogs three days after a competition, followed by two days of rest, and then the dogs were returned to regular training. Coughing was noticed among the dogs four days after immunisation. Three days after this outbreak one of the dogs was unusually silent and was found dead the next morning. Simultaneously two other dogs developed haemorrhagic expectorate, depression and dyspnea and were brought in to the veterinary hospital. Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus was isolated in pure culture from all three cases. They were treated and rehabilitated successfully, and won a sledge race three months later. This paper discusses the necropsy results, treatment regime, rehabilitation and the chronology of vaccination, stressful events and disease.

Keywords:
Respiratory infection; Canine; Rehabilitation; Treatment; Immunology; Histology