Necrotizing Fasciitis Average Cost

From 348 quotes ranging from $500 - 1,800

Average Cost

$850

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What are Necrotizing Fasciitis?

Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare, grave, incapacitating disease that can result in systemic illness in your dog. It is difficult to diagnose as initial symptoms are similar to those of other less serious conditions. Due to its rapid progression and difficulty to diagnose, it can lead to death in infected dogs. Necrotizing fasciitis may also be referred to as “flesh eating bacteria” and it can destroy skin, fat, and muscles.

Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare, bacterial soft tissue infection that appears suddenly and progresses rapidly, leading to systemic illness and often death.

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Symptoms of Necrotizing Fasciitis in Dogs

Dogs that are suffering from necrotizing fasciitis will experience intense pain. The areas that are most likely to be impacted are hock joints, flanks and the skin of the abdomen. Other symptoms include:

  • Painful, deep lesions of the skin along your dog’s limbs or trunk
  • Infection may start with a small skin lesion and progress to a large area of necrosis and ulceration within a few hours
  • Pain initially seems out of proportion with what can be seen on the skin
  • Fever 
  • Within 24-48 hours skin often sheds
  • Localized swelling
  • Erythema
  • Signs of shock
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • Significant pain that seems out of proportion to what is seen upon physical examination

Types 

While necrotizing fasciitis is rare, it can occur in humans as well as dogs. It is more likely to occur in young dogs or elderly dogs; healthy adult dogs are not as prone to infections.

Causes of Necrotizing Fasciitis in Dogs

Necrotizing fasciitis can be caused by an infection with Streptococcus canis. B-hemolytic streptococcus, Staphylococcus pseudintermedius and E. Coli may also cause necrotizing fasciitis. The lungs and throat are the most likely places where your dog will contract the bacteria. Transmission may occur through sharing a water bowl, a run, or bedding with an infected dog. Your dog could also acquire the bacteria by licking the face of a person who is carrying the bacteria or from being in crowded conditions with other dogs (like in dog shows). Stress (from traveling long distances, for example) may also lead to a decreased resistance to the disease.

Diagnosis of Necrotizing Fasciitis in Dogs

It is important that your dog be diagnosed quickly in order to immediately undergo treatment. Unfortunately, it is difficult to diagnose necrotizing fasciitis as the early signs of the condition are no different than the signs of other, less serious problems (for example, cellulitis). A veterinarian will confirm the diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis through bacterial culture and histopathological examination, however to be most successful, treatment must begin prior to the results of these evaluations. It is recommended that treatment begin once the clinical diagnosis points to necrotizing fasciitis, as this will lead to the best chance of recovery for your dog.

It has been noted that in cases of necrotizing fasciitis, the severe pain that the patient is experiencing is out of proportion to what is seen during the physical exam. This is due to the severe tissue damage under the skin that is caused by bacterial toxins and enzymes that damage tissue. All of this is occurring underneath the surface, with little change initially seen on the animal’s skin. Many of the dogs that have been diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis have also exhibited serious systemic disease (including hypotension and sepsis).

Treatment of Necrotizing Fasciitis in Dogs

Quick and aggressive treatment is imperative for a dog suffering from necrotizing fasciitis. Initially, intravenous antibiotics (either clindamycin or amoxicillin-clavulanate) will be administered. Once the veterinarian has sensitivity testing results, the antibiotic may be changed. Other treatment may include:

  • Intravascular fluid therapy
  • Plasma transfusions
  • Nutritional support
  • Surgically removing dead and infected tissue and draining wounds
  • Amputation

It is noted that fluoroquinolones should not be used. These may increase the toxicity of the streptococcus strains and should be avoided. Tests have shown that streptococcus canis is sensitive to penicillin G and ampicillin. Homeopathic options such as Carbo Veg.IM and Arnica can also be utilized.

Recovery of Necrotizing Fasciitis in Dogs

It is likely your dog will require multiple follow-up appointments for additional long-term treatment. Recovery from and management of necrotizing fasciitis is intense and should be expected to be long. Initially, you will want to clean your dog’s wounds and frequently change his bandages. Antibiotics will need to be given for some time. Damaged areas will likely need to be repaired and reconstructed, and skin grafts may be necessary. These procedures will require surgery and an anesthetic. It is important to follow the instructions of your veterinarian to best help your dog recover.

Necrotizing Fasciitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Simba
Labrador Retriever
11 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weak kidney function
Weak kidney function, loss of appetite

My 11 year old Labrador (male) has been suffering flesh decay on the nose area, accompanied by weak kidney function, which is refusing to heal despite expert veterinary care. A part of his muzzle looks eaten away. He has lost his appetite, become weak and is extremely listless.
Please advise.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2937 Recommendations

In severe cases like Simba’s where it appears that skin is being eaten away or is decaying, it would be best to take a sample of the edge of the wound for bacterial culture and sensitivity and for histopathology to assist in the diagnosis; for the weak kidney function dietary management and fluid therapy is best, reducing protein and phosphorus is important. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Micki and Koda
mix and belguim malinois
2 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none
noneMicki and Koda

Our sweet puppy had to be put down with necrotizing fasciitis that had spread beyond a cure. We have two other dogs. Do I need to worry that they could pick up this bacteria as well? What should I do?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1371 Recommendations
I'm so sorry for the loss of your puppy, that is very sad. Your other dogs are susceptible to the bacteria that caused this condition, although they may have stronger immune systems and be less affected. Transmission may occur through sharing a water bowl, a run, or bedding with an infected dog. Your dogs could also acquire the bacteria by licking the face of a person who is carrying the bacteria or from being in crowded conditions with other dogs. Stress (from traveling long distances, for example) may also lead to a decreased resistance to the disease. Thoroughly washing food and water bowls, bedding and toys would be advised to de-contaminate the dogs' living areas, and decreasing stress or crowded conditions for the next little while would be a good idea.

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Teddy and Molly
Golden Retriever
8 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling, black ulcerated lesions
Swelling, black ulcerated lessions

I have had 2 golden retrievers from the same litter get NR within 3 1\2 years of each other. Given the rareness of this condition, I find it very strange to have lost two dogs to it. Is there any chance there is a connection?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1371 Recommendations
I agree, that is unusual that two of your dogs have been affected by this condition, and I am sorry for your loss of Teddy and Molly. The only connection that I might be able to see, given the time frame between the two cases, would be a genetic predisposition to skin disease in that litter, since they were related. If they had an underlying skin defect, they may have been more prone to introduction of the bacteria. Again, I am sorry for your loss.

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Ziggy
Poodle mix
5 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Tired

My dog had an abscess removed a few days ago. Now all the sudden he has open bloody sores appearing on his back. On Saturday we noticed 6. Now it’s Monday and there’s about 20. We don’t see them appear because he’s so furry. Our vet has no idea what is wrong with him. He’s on antibiotic. We’re sending his culture samples to be tested. Could this be flesh eating bacteria?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2937 Recommendations
It is difficult to say what the specific cause is, infection is a strong possibility or an autoimmune disease; the culture and sensitivity test will tell you more. If the culture comes back negative, a biopsy should be sent for histopathology. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Biz
Poodle
Two Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Redness

Our dog was bitten by another dog in the dog park yesterday on his neck. The wound is probably about 2 inches long. We took him to the vet and she washed out the wound and gave us cefpodoxime, which we started yesterday afternoon and she put 4 staples in the wound. This morning our dog seemed fine but now there is a bright red sharply demarcated area around the wound, which is hot and very tender; about 4x4 inches. There are no ulcers or shedding skin. Do I need to be worried about necrotizing fasciitis?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2937 Recommendations
Without examining Biz, I cannot confirm necrotizing fasciitis however it does seem like there is a severe reaction or infection taking hold here; you should return to your Veterinarian for an examination to determine what the specific cause is and to adjust treatment as required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.vetstream.com/treat/canis/diseases/skin-necrotizing-fasciitis

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Maddie
German Shepherd
11 years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

I picked my German Shepard mix up following 4 days of boarding at her primary care vet. I noticed that same evening she was not acting herself...not eating, sleeping excessively, etc. By the next morning she continued not to eat and I noted that her right front shoulder and leg were severely swollen. I immediately took her to the vet where she was started on IV fluids and antibiotics. After 36 hours of treatment with this regimen there has been on improvement, in fact some decline with more pain. Our primary vet consulted via phone with a larger more specialized university vet center and their theory is necrotizing fasciitis. Our vet is not equipped to deal with this diagnosis and has recommended either transfer to the larger center nearly 2 hours away or euthanasia.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2937 Recommendations
Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare condition in dogs which has little literature documenting it in dogs; the condition has a poor to grave prognosis and treatment needs to be rapid to try and get the best result. Treatment must begin immediately if you wish to treat this condition and a sample needs to be taken for histopathology in the meantime; human medicine textbooks describe a finger test which is used to make a presumptive diagnosis of the condition before the histopathology results come back. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://vdt.ugent.be/sites/default/files/art82304.pdf

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