Puppy Strangles

  • I have searched the internet for information on this and have come up with bits and pieces of it. Has anyone every encountered this? How is it contracted? Can humans get it or is self directed from dog to dog?
    I did see one article on it that said it may start from the litter itself. But I find that hard to believe if the mother is giving it protection from the milk it receives. I am wondering if anyone can give anymore info on this then what I already know. Thanks in advance anyone and everyone!
  • Here ya go!



    This condition can affect puppies from about 3 weeks of age to 16 weeks of age. Sometimes demodicosis and severe infections can cause similar signs. If skin scrapings are negative for Demodex mites and there are no signs of a widespread systemic infection other than the swollen lymph nodes, it is even more likely that this is juvenile cellulitis.

    It takes a great leap of faith, but the only really good way to treat juvenile cellulitis is with the use of corticosteroids in combination with antibiotics. If corticosteroids are not used early in this disease permanent scarring of the affected areas can occur and if they are never used, death is not uncommon. The swelling of the lymph nodes cuts off the puppy's ability to breath -- hence the common name of "puppy strangles".

    It is really scary to use immunosuppressive medications in the face of what appears to be a really severe infection but it is essential IF the condition is in fact juvenile cellulitis. Diagnosis of this can be confirmed by skin biopsy but it is usually best to make an educated guess and hope for the best, since biopsy results usually take a while to get back.

    Most puppies who are aggressively treated with appropriate corticosteroids and antibiotics will recover -- but permanent hairloss on affected areas or scarring is not uncommon.
  • Thanks for the information. That much to a point I know. But what I don't know is how did he contract it? He has scabs all over his muzzle. When they come loose boy do they bleed. We were suppose to pick him up today but decided to last Saturday. I noticed his one eye was real bad and by Monday it was swollen. The vet said bring him in asap. He is on 4 meds twice a day and I didn't realize some got on me and now I know why he screams when we give it to him. Ew. Thanks again for the info. Now I'd like to know how he got it.

  • Ask the vet .. he is your best source of information.
  • I would like to let you know that not everyone has answers to puppy strangles. Including on line. Your final response made it sound like to me that you could care less if our dog died or not.
    The information I have seen on line does not bring issue to light a disease that can kill a puppy if left unchecked.
    I am now asking anyone who has dealt with this if they have any more information then what this moderator has posted here.
    I have talked with our vet and our vet has said that he sees about 2 cases a year and is not very knowledgable about the origins of Puppy Strangles.
    At this point in time, I guess I am reaching out to breeders who may have encountered this disease and what your vet has said about this disease. I am interested in hearing more about what other vets have to say about this unusual disease. Thank you!
  • jns131

    I take great offense to YOUR attitude.. we have tried to help you, pointing out articles written by vets.... It is not our responsibility to diagnose the cause of your dog's problems....
    If your vet doesn't have the answer, and he's a trained professional, what do you think we can do for you ? You should have inquired of him who to contact regarding the problems your dog is having. I've been a breeder/trainer for many years and have not come across the problems you describe... So regardless of what we have encountered, each case is different.. The best source of advice, prognosis and diagnosis is still a Vet.

    If YOU were concerned with the care and health of your dog, you would contact other vets, or University with a Veterinary School and see what they can recommend.

    Diagnosing means spending money to find out what the problem is... there is nothing that can compare to Professional hands on.

    So if you care about your dog, then spend the money to find out what the problem is and why your dog is suffering.
  • Hi everyone

    First, Jeannie is not a moderator, she is just a helpful and concerned member of these boards.

    Second, I really didn't see why you felt that Jeannie's response in recommending that you turn to your vet for answers would seem to you like she didn't care if the dog lived or died or not?? This part completely baffles me.

    I have to agree with what Jeannie says here. I'm afraid we are not veterinarians, nor are we health care professionals. I understand your need to find out the origin of this disease, but I don't believe that attacking each other will get the answers you are looking for.

    I also would like to point out that the two resources that Jeannie posted, that you said you already had, have these comments next to them on LifeTips.com:

    Q&A: Puppy Strangles Disease
    Q: What is puppy strangles and is it contagious?

    A: I am not a veterinarian, but have collected several resources for you to read about this condition, which involves the swelling of lymph nodes typically around the neck and head. Since not all puppies in a litter will get stragles, it is not necessarily contagious. But your vet will be your best source of information on that. Here are some Web resources for you to read:


    I hope this helps. The condition is a serious one that needs a vetīs attention right away.

    Please, take your puppy to the vet, or contact a veterinary college and see if they can help figure this out with you.

    Good luck
  • Two posts have been removed from this thread and the thread is now locked. FamilyCorner does not tolerate flaming.