From Dog

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[1]. Cardiovascular collapse, a characteristic feature of this condition, is caused by the release of inflammatorylysozymes released from circulating leukocytes[2].

Causes of sepsis include:

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[9] and tumour necrosis factor[10], leading to multi-organ dysfunction, metabolic alkalosis, shock and, in severe cases, death.

Treatment of sepsis involves aggressive use of IV fluids, antimicrobial therapy and anti-endotoxin drugs such as NSAIDs and Polymixin B.


  1. Sharp, CR et al (2010) Evaluation of the anti-endotoxin effects of polymixin B in a feline model of endotoxaemia. JFMS 12:278-285
  2. Gotes J et al (2012) Mechanisms of systemic vasodilation by lysozyme-c in septic shock. J Appl Physiol 112(4):638-650
  3. Brady, CA et al (2000) Sever sepsis in cats: 29 cases (1986-1998) J Am Vet Med Assoc 217:531-535
  4. de Laforcade A (2012) Diseases associated with thrombosis. Top Companion Anim Med 27(2):59-64
  5. Wunderlin N et al (2012) Enterocutaneous fistula formation in a dog as a result of colonic foreign body perforation. Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 40(2):122-128
  6. Hagman R et al (2012) Clinical and molecular characteristics of pyometra in female dogs. Reprod Domest Anim 47(6):323-325
  7. Slovak JE et al (2012) Toxic shock syndrome in two dogs. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 48(6):434-438
  8. Snead E et al (2011) Glucocorticoid-dependent hypoadrenocorticism with thrombocytopenia and neutropenia mimicking sepsis in a Labrador retriever dog. Can Vet J 52(10):1129-1134
  9. Song R et al (2012) Kinetics of IL-6 and TNF-α changes in a canine model of sepsis induced by endotoxin. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 146(2):143-149
  10. Osterbur K et al (2012) Interleukin-1β, tumour necrosis factor-α and lipopolysaccharide induce C-type natriuretic peptide from canine aortic endothelial cells. Res Vet Sci [ Nov 8]