THE STORM OF SEPSIS – FAQS, DIAGNOSIS AND MANAGEMENT OF SEPSIS
Creature Companions|February 2021
Sepsis occurs when certain bacterial chemicals are released in the bloodstream to fight an infection triggering inflammation throughout the body. Septicemia occurs when a bacterial infection occurring elsewhere in the body, such as the lungs, Uterus, etc., enters the bloodstream. This is an extremely serious and dangerous condition because the bacteria and their toxins can be carried throughout the bloodstream to your entire body. This can trigger a cascade of changes that leads to damage of multiple organ systems, leading to organ failure, sometimes even resulting in death.
Tanvi Shendye

WHAT IS SEPTCEMIA?

Septicemia is also commonly called Sepsis. Septicemia word refers to sepsis in blood.

This condition is also commonly referred to as

Blood Poisoning

Septic Fever

THE PHASES OF SEPSIS/ SEPTICEMIA –

Broadly we can observe three phases of Sepsis in the body they are –

1. SEPSIS

2. SEVERE SEPSIS

3. SEPTIC SHOCK

Sepsis as a condition progresses from mild to severe to extremely severe and ultimately death if not dealt with aptly and quickly. Thus, quick medical help must be sought out in case of sepsis. Let’s discuss further phases of sepsis.

PHASE I – SEPSIS

This is characterized by –

1 Fever of high grade

Most often, the normal body temperature of Dogs is around 101-102°F, anything above this is termed as pyrexia or fever. Usually one gets fever, when there is some sort of bacteria/virus or microorganism to be general which is antigenic in nature (harmful and damaging in nature). Thus, fever can be a clear and good indication that some sort of infection is occurring inside the body, and thus apt diagnostic procedures should be carried out to figure it out!

2. Tachypnea

Rapid and quick breathing is medically termed as tachypnea.

It is generally observed along with fever or pyrexia. Thus, even a slight abnormal increase in breathing rate or way is to be observed keenly and it could be an indicator of Sepsis.

3. Increase in heartbeat rate.

With the increase in respiratory rate and fever, on examination by your vet, the heartbeat rate also shows an increase.

4. Confirmed Diagnosis of Infection.

Sepsis is characterized by bacterial infection occurring inside the body of your pets. Sepsis in dogs is generally seen due to active infection caused by bacterias.

The most commonly occurring infections leading to sepsis in severe conditions are –

1. GI tract Infections – e.g., canine parvoviral enteritis, Hemorrhagic Gastro Enteritis

2. Respiratory Tract Infection e.g. bacterial pneumonia, pneumococcal Infection, etc.

3. The chronic urinary-tract disease which is most often than not caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli

4. Uterine Infections – infections such as pyometra (pus in the uterus), mucometra (mucus in the uterus), endometritis (inflammation of the endometrial walls of the uterus), etc. can also trigger an inflammatory response in the body.

5. Most often, Gram-negative bacterial infections predominate, with E. coli being the most common isolate observed. However, any bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral organism may cause sepsis.

PHASE II – SEVERE SEPSIS

When the symptoms of sepsis are not properly managed at earlier stages, it leads to a severe septic condition in the body and thus triggering a condition called SIRS (Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome)

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