Springer Spaniel puppy Ollie is now ready to face the world after recovering from puppy strangles – a rare disease that affects puppies between three weeks and four months of age.
Puppy strangles is the result of an immune malfunction and causes extremely nasty skin lesions, usually around the face and he
ad, and also affects a puppy’s lymph nodes.
The cause is unknown, but it is especially problematic in some breeds, including Labrador Retrievers, Springer Spaniels and Dachshunds. Fortunately there is effective treatment, however left untreated it can lead to permanent scarring and even death.
Ollie was only nine-weeks-old and had just had his first vaccination when he was brought to our surgery with runny eyes and blisters in his ears. We gave him antibiotics and antihistamines but during the following days Ollie developed a high temperature, became lethargic and was struggling to walk. Nodules and lesions had also appeared on his face and behind his ears.
When a dog is diagnosed with puppy strangles early treatment is required, so we gave Ollie a course of steroids to reduce inflammation and antibiotics to prevent and treat any secondary bacterial or fungal infections.
His owner, Stuart Morris, said: “Ollie perked up within hours of having his first steroid dose and continued to improve. He continued with his medication for about four weeks and we bathed his blisters and nodules with an antibiotic solution and applied Vaseline and cream.
“I’m pleased to say that his fur has now started to grow back and there doesn’t appear to be any signs of permanent scarring. For the first time he’s also been able to venture outdoors because he’s had his second vaccination, which had been put on hold due to his reduced immunity.”