Hi, my awesome pet fans! Today I am going to be discussing “Did You Know Your Puppy Could Get E. Coli Infection?” This can be a very dangerous life-threatening disease if left untreated.
It causes other serious diseases in the newborn pup, but this disease can also affect older dogs as well. I am going to be giving you information on the following:
- What is E.Coli Disease?
- What are the Signs and Symptoms?
- What Causes E. Coli Disease in Puppies?
- Diagnosing E. Coli in Puppies
- How Your Veterinarian Treats E. Coli in Your Pup
- What’s the Recovery Time from E. Coli Treatment?
- Preventing E. Coli in Your Pups
What is E. Coli Disease?
E. Coli is a bacterial infection normally found in newborn puppies and is caused by Colibacillosis, but can also affect older dogs as well. E. Coli or Escherichia Coli is found in the lower intestines in small amounts which is normal, but when there are high concentrations that is when problems arise.
The E. Coli in high concentrations has been linked to a deadly disease known as the Parvo Virus and a condition called Septicemia better known as blood poisoning which can also cause death if left untreated.
When the pups are first born their mom’s milk is rich in antibodies called colostrum which protects the newborn furbabies from such diseases as E. Coli. This rich milk coats their intestines which helps their little immune systems to fight off most diseases.
The pups can also contract E. Coli while breastfeeding from their mom if she has infected mammary glands and if the mom is infected with E. Coli, the pups can get infected in utero, (while the mom is still pregnant).
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Most often E. Coli will be acute, or a sudden onset of the following signs and symptoms:
- Lack of appetite
- Fast or rapid heart rate
- General malaise or weakness
- Watery diarrhea
- Bluish-colored membranes (gums, nostrils lips, ears, anus due to lack of oxygen)
- They will feel cold to the touch because of low body temperature
What Causes E. Coli Disease in Puppies?
The most common cause of E. Coli in puppies is a mom that is unhealthy and cannot produce milk that contains the much-needed colostrum to coat her babies intestines to ward off diseases like E. Coli. Unhealthy, crowded or dirty birthing environments, prolonged births can cause unwanted diseases as well.
If the mom has poor nutrition herself and infected mammary glands then the likely hood of her producing the much-needed colostrum antibody infused milk will make for unhealthy and sickly puppies that are open to such diseases as E. Coli and the deadly Parvo Virus.
The best way to prevent such horrific diseases in newborn pups and their moms is number one, make sure the mom is healthy (provide good nutrition) and lives in a nice clean environment and has ALL of her vaccinations up to date prior to getting pregnant.
Provide a clean and sanitary environment prior to her giving birth to her pups and make sure she has plenty of room for this exciting upcoming event!
Make sure to provide your pets with clean water and uncontaminated food. I would strongly suggest that you DO NOT feed your animals a raw food diet as this can highly increase their chances of getting E. Coli!
If you know or suspect another animal of being sick then keep your furbaby away from them until the animal can be taken to the veterinarian and cleared of any diseases or sickness.
Did You Know Your Puppy Could Get E. Coli Infection by eating and drinking out of dirty bowls? So, make sure to keep your pooches water bowl and food bowl clean as well that way you can keep these nasty and potentially deadly diseases away. 🐶
Diagnosing E. Coli in Puppies
If this is an acute or sudden onset of symptoms the likely hood of any abnormalities showing up in the blood samples would only be a few. So, your veterinarian would then opt to take urine, and if at all possible fecal samples as well as a blood sample for cultures to check and see if any E. Coli or other infectious diseases show up.
The blood test will consist of a CBC (complete blood count) this will determine if your furbaby as a decrease in their white blood cells which is a good indication of the Parvo Virus.
Next, your veterinarian will do biochemistry profile of your pups blood to check for the presence of E. Coli and to see at what levels it’s at and to determine if your furbaby is septic or has a blood infection.
Your pups urine will also be checked to rule out any other abnormalities or infections, such as UTI (urinary tract infection) that may need to be treated as well.
How Your Veterinarian Treats E. Coli in Your Pup
Once a positive diagnosis of E. Coli is confirmed in your furbaby they will most likely need to be hospitalized to receive the proper life-saving treatment and so they can be monitored closely.
Your pooch will need to receive fluids that will be infused by way of an IV due to your pups dehydration to get their fluid levels back up to a healthy electrolyte level.
To treat the pups diarrhea that caused severe dehydration, a glucose solution will be given to them by the oral route. Antibiotics will also be administered and may be adjusted depending on the severity of the E. Coli infection. Such antibiotics used can be cefpodoxime, ceftiofur, or cephalexin.
Because of the rapid onset of this deadly disease, prompt treatment is futile in saving the young pups life. Because the newborn pup’s immune system is underdeveloped if treatment and supportive care are not sought immediately the chances of survival are very low.
Approximately 95% of puppies that contract this deadly disease E. Coli do not survive even if treatment is sought because the owners did not recognize the signs and symptoms until it was too late.😭
What’s the Recovery Time from E. Coli Treatment?
Recovery time should be given in a clean, warm and comfortable environment, preferably in a crate to restrict activity for an older puppy or dog. You will also need to provide adequate nutrition which is a vital part of the recovery period. This may include giving bottle feedings.
Breastfeedings by the pup’s mom if at all possible, is highly recommended so that the pup can receive the antibody enriched colostrum milk to help strengthen the pups compromised weaken immune system.
If this is not possible due to the mom’s milk being infected or the pup is under 6 weeks old and needs continued intravenous nutrients while in the hospital, the veterinarian may order continued bottle feedings until the pup is out of danger.
Your veterinarian will continue to take blood samples to run bacterial cultures and make sure the E. Coli is responding to the antibiotics and the infection levels are dropping.
When your pup is well enough to go home, you will need to monitor your furbabies body temperature and look for any changes in their behavior or health, if so then you would need to contact your veterinarian immediately for any instructions on what you need to do.
Once your pup has recovered and is out of danger, your veterinarian will reassess the situation and see if any other treatment is necessary and if so they will make the necessary adjustments to your furbaby’s medications so they can make a full recovery.
Preventing E. Coli in Your Pups
One of the best ways to prevent E. Coli infection in your pups in the first place is to make sure that their mom is fed a healthy nutritional diet before she gets pregnant, during pregnancy, and after giving birth.
The number one surefire way to prevent this terrible infection is to make sure your pups have full access to their mom’s colostrum, which is the first milk mom produces.
Her milk is enriched with antibodies that newborn pups need in the first weeks of life. This enriched antibody milk helps to build and protect the pups undeveloped immune system to fight off serious infections such as E. Coli and the deadly Parvo Virus.
Did You Know Your Puppy Could Get E. Coli Infection just by you handling other dogs or animals? This is why it is so vitally important that before you handle newborn pups that you wash your hands and change your clothes and shoes.
This will help to protect their under-developed immune system until they get the much-needed antibody enriched colostrum milk from their moms.🐶
I hope you enjoyed my post “Did You Know Your Puppy Could Get E. Coli Infection?” I sincerely hope this information is valuable to you and if your pup ever starts showing the signs and symptoms I went over with you that you will act on it and get your pup to the doctor ASAP!
The quicker you act the better chances your little furbaby will have to survive. Remember if you should find yourself in a situation to have to bottle feed a puppy check out my post on Bottle Feeding Newborn Puppies/Kittens for valuable information.
As a quick reminder, should your female dog become pregnant provide her with good nutrition during her pregnancy, after giving birth, and while the pups are nursing.
Should your puppy need a crate during recovery check this out <<Here>>
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