Prepare for unexpected vet bills

Youtube Play

What is Bacterial Infection (Streptococcus)?

There are good and bad bacteria in all of us, including our dogs. Once in awhile, a bacterium causes an infection and makes your dog ill. This usually happens because your dog’s immune system is low for some reason, such as a recent illness or with very young or old dogs. The Streptococcus canis bacteria is one that can commonly cause an infection and illness in your dog. Since it is already present in your dog’s body, it does not take much for the bacteria to cause an infection if your dog has recently been sick. This is also common in puppies and older dogs whose immune system is weak. When a dog’s immune system is weakened for any reason, it is easy for the Streptococcus canis bacteria to invade areas where they do not belong and cause a bacterial infection.

Streptococcal bacterial infections are  caused by a naturally occuring (commensal) and necessary bacterium. This bacterium are usually found in the dog’s respiratory system, intestines, urinary, and genital tract, but sometimes cause isolated infections in a dog anywhere in their body. 

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

Compare plans
advertisement image

Bacterial Infection (Streptococcus) Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $250 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,500

Symptoms of Bacterial Infection (Streptococcus) in Dogs

Although there are many symptoms of a bacterial infection from Streptococcus canis bacteria, these are the most common ones:

  • High body temperature
  • Sores and abscesses on the dog’s skin
  • Infected cuts
  • Refusing to eat food
  • Coughing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Throwing up
  • Obviously infected areas of skin, ears, and eyes.
  • Urinary tract or respiratory system infection
  • Inflammation and redness
  • Abrasions
  • Difficulty walking
  • Painful urination
  • Weakness
  • Refusal to play or exercise
  • Excessive sleepiness

 Types

  • Skin Infection – Lesions and abscesses on skin anywhere on the body
  • Throat Infection – Pain when eating and drinking, refusing food and water
  • Urinary Tract Infection – Pain with urination, frequent urination, blood in urine
  • Respiratory Infection – Coughing, vomiting, high fever, breathing difficulty
  • Sinus Infection – Runny nose and watery eyes
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Bacterial Infection (Streptococcus) in Dogs

  • Puppies that have not had their shots yet and have low levels of antibodies
  • Weakened immune system
  • Untreated abrasions and sores on skin
  • Contact with other animals sick with bacterial infection from Streptococcus canis
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Bacterial Infection (Streptococcus) in Dogs

Diagnosing a bacterial infection from Streptococcus canis in your dog depends on the symptoms and what your veterinarian finds with a physical examination. The vet will need to know about your dog’s medical history and whether there have been any illnesses or accidents recently.

 After a physical examination, the veterinarian will need to do several lab tests:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Blood gas and chemical panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Bacterial culture 
  • Fungal culture
  • Throat and nasal swab
  • Skin scrapings and biopsy

 If the veterinarian suspects the infection has spread throughout your dog’s body, they will take some digital radiographs (x-rays) of the chest and abdomen area. Your veterinarian may need to do an ultrasound, MRI, and CT scan as well.

To rule out any other disorders, the veterinarian may also do an endoscopy and laryngoscopy. An EKG or ECG may also help the veterinarian rule out heart problems.

Your pet is only likely to have a few of the tests above and which test are run will depend on the type and severity of the infection present.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Bacterial Infection (Streptococcus) in Dogs

Treating the bacterial infection caused by streptococcus canis depends on where the infection has infiltrated. The veterinarian may want to hospitalize your dog while giving him IV fluids and antibiotics if the infection is severe or causing life threatening symptoms. If the infection happens to be on your dog’s skin, your veterinarian will apply topical antibiotics send you home with the medicine and a medicated wash. Be sure to follow the veterinarian’s directions carefully to get rid of the infection. It is essential you do not stop giving your dog the medicine when he is feeling better. Give your dog all of the medication as directed until it is gone or the infection may come back and be even worse (as it may be resistant to certain antibiotics).

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Bacterial Infection (Streptococcus) in Dogs

If your veterinarian schedules a follow-up appointment, it is important that you show up. The veterinarian will give your dog a complete physical examination to make sure the infection is completely gone.

Be sure to feed your dog high quality food and fresh water, use stainless steel food bowls, and call your veterinarian if your dog gets worse or if the symptoms go away and then comes back. Give your dog plenty of exercise, including walking then every day encouraging activities such as hikes, swimming and agility.

As long as there are no complications, your dog should be completely recovered and ready to get back to his normal activities relatively quickly.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Bacterial Infection (Streptococcus) Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $250 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,500

arrow-up-icon

Top

Bacterial Infection (Streptococcus) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

dog-name-icon

Breezie

dog-breed-icon

Pomeranian

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Picky Eater
Lethargic
Abscess
Limping

My 1 year 5 month old Pomeranian has been lethargic for over a week, she started limping on her front right leg 4 days ago, then limping on her hind left leg 2 days ago. She barely eats, but when she does eat she’s very picky (wet food only). She has several abscesses all over (4 on her back, 2 around her mouth) - 2 just “popped” last night (they were bleeding). The vet did a chem panel all normal (CBC showed elevated white cells & liver alp a little high). X-ray was fine (no pyometra found). Waiting on cultures - which takes a week. She’s been on antibiotics 4 days and no signs of improvement. She pees when I carry her outside and her poop is still solid...she’s never vomited.

June 11, 2018

Breezie's Owner


answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

2 Recommendations

It sounds like Breezie has a severe infection, four days is still early in treatment in cases this severe and may take much longer; it is useful that a sample has been sent for culture and sensitivity so that the most suitable antibiotic may be determined and used for treatment. Apart from continuing treatment as prescribed, I cannot recommend anything different at this time. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 12, 2018

I’m curious as to how the dog has turned out. I experienced something similar and vets have no idea what it was. I think it started with my dog being depressed a month prior. She also lost a little weight. But her being a husky we figured since we just brushed about a thousand pounds of hair off her that maybe that’s why she looked more skinny. She had her annual appointment on may 5th and seemed fine. She was good a week later. After that (about may 18th/19th) she started limping on her front left paw. And we saw a “scab” on her back left hock and her head. We figured she hurt herself going under our bed. She was limping about a week. The last few days she just stayed under the bed and wouldn’t come out. I had to hand her food and water. On may 26th we noticed she would shake when she laid down and just looked so miserable. On the 27th, she stayed in her cage all day and i noticed her pupils dilated, her blue eyes were yellow, and she was warm. I also noticed sores on her paws/between toes on the back legs and that one scab on her hock wasn’t a pea size anymore it was on her whole ankle bone. She would “clean” it. I made an appt to vet on Tuesday since it was memorial weekend (not open Monday). At her appointment (may 29th) her vet said her temp was 105.3 degrees, blind and dehydrated. I took her to the hospital that day. They did CBC which they told me had signs of inflammation, gave her iv fluids for half hour, and told me she had more sores than i saw. They were on her tongue, mouth, and more on her toes. They gave me an antibiotic, gabapentin, and eye drops. Did a valley fever test but didn’t come in until that Thursday (may 31). The next day i thought she was a bit better because she drank a lot more. Thursday the same. Valley fever was negative. And they gave another antibiotic, prednisone and antifungal. Couldn’t get antifungal til Saturday. Friday however, i noticed her breathing wasn’t the same, and heard fluid in her lungs. She had a red tinge color of drainage on her nostrils as well as her right nostril swollen closed. More sores popped up and got worse. Her tongue had red dots all over it and the sores were bleeding more. Her nails and gums were turning bluish purple/grey. And she was weaker and weaker. Saturday (June 2) it was so bad. She couldn’t stand to go to the bathroom, her sores were worse. There was one i noticed that Wednesday that was red and by Saturday it was purple/black. We made the hard decision to put her to sleep because we saw the decline was so quick and she was just so miserable. She was just 1 year and 5 months. She was lethargic, had pain and swelling in her limbs, the wounds kept “popping up”, fever was gone after the hospital visit, it affected all of her systems, nervous system (sudden blindness), heart, lungs, skin, she didnt even respond to her name on the last day. Multiple sores on her tongue as well as ulcers on her gums and mouth, no response to meds either. I got a copy of her records from hospital and the blood panel (to me) revealed she was also in liver failure. She had a lot of normal low/high levels that were borderline. Anyway, i know that’s long but i’m Just curious as to how Breezie ended up. This is the closest i could find to what happened with my husky.

June 25, 2018

Christy S.

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Hunter

dog-breed-icon

Collie husky

dog-age-icon

18 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Sores
Sores Rash Itchy Sleepy

Hi there my baby is 18 months old he is a rescue I believe he is collie husky , he just got bravacto for ticks he has had it last year though , but now he has open wounds and sores and rashes and a small growth that looks like a peanut it is in his private area and a little on his belly , I heard that there has been a few fatalities with bravacto , so I need an emercgemy vet visit ? Or if you could tell me a cream to buy I am a single mom and didnt budget for vet Bill's, of course if that's what has to be done I will find a way but if I could avoid a costly vet bill it would really help a lot, thanks in advance for any info u might have , I have pictures to if that helps

April 29, 2018

Hunter's Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

The signs that you are describing aren't likely caused by the Bravecto, but might be a bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection that needs to be treated. Since I can't examine Hunter, I can't diagnose what might be going on, and he should see your veterinarian. Hopefully it is a simple problem with a simple solution!

April 29, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

Bacterial Infection (Streptococcus) Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $250 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,500

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

Compare plans
advertisement image
Ask a vet
Need pet insurance?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install