This post provides gives detailed puppy strangles information. We discuss what it is, whether it is contagious, its causes, symptoms, treatment and home remedies. Also explored are its various long term effects.
- Puppy Strangles
- What Is Puppy Strangles?
- Is Puppy Strangles Contagious?
- Puppy Strangles Symptoms
- Strangles in Puppies Pictures
- Puppy Strangles in Dogs Causes
- Puppy Strangles Treatment
- How Long Does Puppy Strangles Last – Puppy Strangles Recovery
- Puppy Strangles Prognosis
- Puppy Strangles Home Treatment and Cures
- Puppy Strangles Long Term Effects
- Sources and References
Like the name suggests, this is a condition affecting puppies. We answer a few questions about it below.
What Is Puppy Strangles?
Puppy strangles is a term commonly used to describe juvenile cellulitis. Juvenile pyoderma and puppy head gland disease are other names used to refer to it. This is a skin disorder that occurs in puppies and rarely in grown up or older dogs. The disease causes pustules in the face of the puppy and affects its lymph nodes.
It occurs in puppies that are between three weeks and four months. The likelihood of the disease decreases beyond 12 weeks. Although it takes the appearance of a bacterial infection, the condition is thought to be immune-mediated. Left untreated, puppy strangles could lead to scarring or death in severe cases. The breeds most susceptible to the disease are:
- Golden Retriever
- Gordon Setter
- Miniature Dachshund
- Siberian Husky
Is Puppy Strangles Contagious?
Like discussed above, puppy strangles is a result of a compromised immune system. It could also be genetically predisposed. This being the case, puppy head gland disease is not contagious. However, any secondary infections resulting from it may be contagious.
Puppy Strangles Symptoms
Puppy strangles symptoms may be mistaken for other skin infections. However, a close inspection will show some additional signs pointing to the disease. Puppy strangles symptoms include:
- Pustules on the face
- Facial swelling on the eyelids, lips, muzzle and around the ears
- Crusty appearance where the pustules rapture
- Ear infection papules
- Enlarged lymph nodes especially behind the jaws
- Skin becomes tender to touch
- Loss of appetite
- Pustules around the abdomen, anus and reproductive organs in severe cases
Strangles in Puppies Pictures
To help understand the disease better, here are some juvenile cellulitis pictures:
Puppy Strangles in Dogs Causes
The puppy strangles disease is idiopathic. This means that there hasn’t been a clearly identified cause. However, research indicates that the condition is immune mediated. It is suspected to be as a result of dysfunction of the immune system.
Is puppy strangles hereditary? This is a common question from people trying to understand the condition. Since it is more prevalent in certain breeds, puppy strangles is thought to have a genetic correlation.
Puppy Strangles Treatment
In most cases, juvenile cellulitis treatment in dogs involves aggressive immunosuppression. This could be done using corticosteroids and broad spectrum antibiotics. The latter treat and prevent further secondary infections. These are administered until the pustules clear. The treatment cost will depend on how long it takes the puppy to recover and form of treatment used.
Video: Tetanus In Dogs
Since a puppy with strangles already has a compromised immune system, the pustules and lesions on its face leave it at an increased risk of developing infections. To curb this, your veterinarian may prescribe topical ointment to soothe itch and pain during the recovery period. In older dogs with severe strangles chemotherapy may be done. This though is rare.
How Long Does Puppy Strangles Last – Puppy Strangles Recovery
During recovery, it is important to do as instructed by your vet. Since your puppy’s immune system is not yet fully developed, treating it with immunosuppressants may be too much for it. As such, it is necessary for the corticosteroids to be tapered. In case an ointment is prescribed, strictly follow the instructions given to ensure the puppy’s well being.
During the recovery, ensure the affected area remains completely dry. Use an astringent solution to clean it throughout the day. You can use burrows solution diluted with hydrogen peroxide. Talk to your vet about the same.
Although strangles is not likely to occur after treatment, depending on how soon treatment if sought after appearance of the symptoms, it is possible for your puppy to experience permanent scarring. How long the condition lasts will depend on how severe it was. Some dogs recover faster than others.
Puppy Strangles Prognosis
Diagnosis of the disease is done through a look into the history and physical examination. Once other skin conditions such as severe infections are ruled out, akin biopsy and cultures may be necessary. These are done by your vet.
Puppy strangles prognosis where the dog went too long without treatment, prognosis could be very poor.
Puppy Strangles Home Treatment and Cures
There are no known home cures for puppy strangles. For your puppy to get well, it is important for the condition to get treated by the vet. In addition to the recommended course of treatment, here are a few puppy strangles home treatments you can put into place.
- Using a warm cloth dipped in hot water, give your dog warm compresses. Dip it in the water, wring out any excess and hold this against the affected part. The warmth will help improve blood circulation around the area for quick healing.
- To avoid the discomfort that comes with crusting around the pustules ones they rapture, keep cleaning the area throughout the day. Where the crusts have already formed, moisten them first before washing them off.
- To facilitate the healing of the sores, wash them with 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide.
- To take care of abscessed lymph nodes, clean them up to four times using warm water and a clean wash cloth.
- While taking care of the dog, avoid rough cleaning as this could be pretty uncomfortable. It also increases the chances of scarring.
Puppy Strangles Long Term Effects
The most obvious puppy strangles long term effects are permanent scars. These though only occur where the condition took too long before getting treated. Additionally, it could also affect its temperament as an older dog. This is attributed to the psychological trauma associated with the pain caused by the disease. These long term effects can be prevented by ensuring timely treatment.
Since juvenile cellulitis is suspected to be genetic, passing the condition to future generations is yet another long term effect. It is therefore advisable to spay or neuter dogs affected by it to avoid it being passed on. Other than these, there are no other known methods for the prevention of juvenile cellulitis.