I found this on another forum and I think passing it around is a good idea. hopefully no one else gets sick.Permission to crosspost.
I wanted to pass this on to you as if affects all of us that show dogs. There have been a number of sudden sheltie deaths reported on our national sheltie blogs as well as reports of a Siberian Husky, several Goldens, and a GSD death over the last several months. We've lost shelties in Maine, PA, CT, NC, and FL. All were from active show homes. I'm sure there are probably other deaths in other breeds that we aren't aware of. Necropsies have been done on several of the shelties with the diagnosis being Clostridial (type of bacteria) Gastroenteritis. Simply sniffing the ground can introduce the bacteria into the dog nasally. The symptoms and disease progression have been the same. The dog displays diarrhea and/or goes off its food. It may have a fever (rectal, over 102 degrees). Hemorrhagic vomiting may accompany. The dog becomes lethargic, goes into shock, and may have rectal bleeding. The dog dies within 24 hours. At the first signs of diarrhea and/or loss of appetite, you should take your dog immediately to the vet to be evaluated. If they're diagnosed, IV antibiotics (Flagyl and Clavamox seem to be the antibiotic most commonly given), should be given as well as fluids and other IV meds to manage dehydration and shock. There have been dogs affected that didn't attend any dog shows but whose kennel mates did so the disease is easily transmissible. It doesn't display in all dogs. Stress or suppressed immune system could be factors in succumbing to the bacteria. Attached is a letter from Jen Milani, Maple Cove Shelties in Delaware, relating her experience and explaining this situation further.
I encourage you to get the word out and PLEASE let me know if you have heard of anything like this in your area. This just started going public 2 days ago on the Sheltie list, and people are starting to come forward with more and more cases that have happened over the past few months. I recently attended shows in Maine 2 weeks ago, and as of the past week 2-3 shelties who went have now died. The symptoms are so subtle and all dogs have died in less than a 24 hour period of the first sign. They include diarrhea, lethargy, high temperature, pneumonia and loss of appetite. I myself have had my bitch stop eating in the past two nights and she has not been herself. I took her to the vet today and she was dehydrated and put on IV fluids and flagyl just to cover all bases. In some cases the dogs came down with this after an entire month of going to a show. Others have come home from a show and been fine, but other dogs in the house have caught it from them. This is NOT to be confused with canine influenza. They are possibly seeing a connection of having contracted this from horses, as the Maine fairgrounds had horses training and boarding at the site all week. This was the first time they have ever used these fairgrounds for a show, too. Some of the deaths have been attributed to something called clostridial gastroenteritis and pneumonia*(*the pneumonia that accompanies this is usually aspiration pneumonia, from vomiting). If you have seen any of these symptoms in your dogs PLEASE do not hesitate to get to the vet as soon as you can. I know all of our dogs can get a touch of diarrhea or loss of appetite, but going that extra mile right now could help save lives. A few people were able to save their dogs with flagyl at the very first sign. I know I will not be attending shows for a while - with or without a dog. You hear these stories, but when you were AT the show these cases contracted this from and personally know the people that lost a dog, it is terrifying. Get the word out and please keep an eye on your dogs.
Sincerely, Jen Milani Maplecove Shelties
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