Septic Arthritis In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Septic arthritis in dogs is an inflammatory condition that occurs when microorganisms manage to enter the dog’s joints via the bloodstream. It often happens after a traumatic injury or surgery on the joints.

Septic Arthritis In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments
Septic Arthritis In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

This kind of arthritis is different from standard arthritis in dogs due to the absence of any toxicity in the fluids of the joints. Additionally, it usually affects male dogs more than female dogs, and certain larger breeds are more likely to develop the condition that others.

If you see signs that your dog might be suffering from arthritis, then you must consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and course of treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of septic arthritis in dogs.

Symptoms Of Septic Arthritis In Dogs

Septic arthritis in dogs can result in a number of symptoms that usually affect the joints and area around them.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  •   Fever
  •   Lack of mobility
  •   Joints feeling warm and hot to the touch
  •   Swelling around the joints
  •   Pain around the joints
  •   Loss of appetite

Causes Of Septic Arthritis In Dogs

Septic arthritis usually affects dogs with weaker than normal immune systems. Some of the other common causes include:

  •   Infection after an injury
  •   Bacterial infections
  •   Infection after being bitten
  •   Infection arising during surgery
  •   Bacteria derived from fungal infections

The condition usually affects larger breeds, including Dobermans, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds. Elder dogs are also more prone to developing this kind of arthritis than younger dogs.

Septic Arthritis In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments
Septic Arthritis In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Treatments For Septic Arthritis In Dogs

If you think that your dog might be suffering from septic arthritis, your veterinarian will want to carry out a full physical examination of your dog. They’ll likely order blood and urine tests, along with X-rays in some cases.

Your vet will also ask about any recent events or circumstances that might have involved the opportunity for the arthritis to develop.

When forming a diagnosis, analysis of the fluid from the affected joints is key. Your vet may need to sedate your dog while they carry out the process.

When the vet confirms their diagnosis, they often prescribe antibiotics to help deal with the condition. If your vet prescribes a course of antibiotics for your dog, it is vital that you stick to the precise dosage and frequency instructions, along with completing the full course of medication.

Along with antibiotics, vets will often drain fluid around the joints.

While recovering at home, your dog may need the use of cold packs and compresses to manage the condition. Additionally, your veterinarian should determine the level of exercise your dog engages in to avoid inflaming the condition again.

Has your dog ever developed septic arthritis? How did your vet help with treatment? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

More references:

Septic Arthritis in Dogs

Spontaneous septic arthritis in juvenile dogs

Everything You Need to Know About Septic Arthritis in Dogs

Article update time: 2021.10.03

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