Toxic shock syndrome

From Dog

Toxic shock (septic shock) syndrome is an acute life-threatening disease of dogs characterized by sudden onset of shock due to overwhelming infection.

This condition can also occur as a result of tumor lysis syndrome, and occurs as a result of cardiovascular collapse due to release of inflammatory lysozymes released from leukocytes[1].

A predisposition for toxic shock syndrome has been reported in the Labrador Retriever, characterized by hypoadrenocorticism, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia and neutropenia[2].

Affected dogs usually present with lethargy, anorexia, hypotension and septic shock[3]. A less common sequela is severe, diffuse, generalized erythema and edema of the skin.

Diagnosis is usually based on hematological findings and history of neoplasia.

Treatment is usually based on addressing underlying hemostasis and neoplasia. Aggressive use of intravenous fluids and broad-spectrum antimicrobials is recommended.


  1. Gotes J et al (2012) Mechanisms of systemic vasodilation by lysozyme-c in septic shock. J Appl Physiol 112(4):638-650
  2. 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
  3. Slovak JE et al (2012) Toxic shock syndrome in two dogs. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 48(6):434-438