Sepsis is defined as a systemic and often overwhelming inflammatory response to infection by bacterial diseases.
Formerly known as septicaemia, sepsis can often lead to DIC and has a high morbidity and mortality. Cardiovascular collapse, a characteristic feature of this condition, is caused by the release of inflammatorylysozymes released from circulating leukocytes.
Causes of sepsis include:
- Acute bacterial infections, particularly Gram-ve bacteria
- Toxin-induced thromboembolism
- Severe burns
- Acute tumor lysis syndrome
- Toxic shock syndrome - Labrador Retriever predisposition, characterized by hypoadrenocorticism, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia and neutropenia.
Clinically, the dog presents with lethargy, hyperthermia (early stages) or hypothermia (in end-stage sepsis) and hypotension.
Sepsis usually involves release of endotoxins or lipopolysaccharide (the glycolipid component of bacterial cell walls) are released into the circulation. This results in a systemic inflammatory response with initiating of interleukins and tumour necrosis factor, leading to multi-organ dysfunction, metabolic alkalosis, shock and, in severe cases, death.
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