The period of motherhood for the dog and its owners is a wonderful, but at the same time dangerous time, as various ailments await the body, weakened by pregnancy and childbirth. Mastitis in a dog is one of the most common diseases in the postpartum period. How is he manifested and how to help the female in this difficult time for her?
Varieties of mastitis in dogs
First of all, it is worth figuring out what kind of disease it is. Mastitis, in most cases, appears after childbirth or with a diagnosis of false pregnancy, that is, its development is directly related to the intense secretion of milk in the mammary glands. Among microbes, mastitis streptococcal and staphylococcal bacilli are most often provoked.
The following types of disease are distinguished:
- Catarrhal mastitis. This type of disease is dangerous in that, having no specific experience, it will be very difficult to detect it. Symptoms are practically absent, except for the presence in the secretory secretions of mucus. Without timely treatment, more serious forms of the disease develop from catarrhal mastitis - serous mastitis or catarrhal-purulent.
- Serous mastitis. Inflammatory exudate appears in the milk secreted by the mammary glands. This kind of ailment is also impossible to detect without clinical diagnosis.
- Fibrous type. In this case, fibrin filaments appearing from the glands simultaneously with milk, having the form of white, dense cords.
- Purulent type of mastitis. Foreign particles of pus appear in the milk of a nursing dog - they can look like stretching threads or separate pieces of a whitish or yellowish hue. Milk, in most cases, changes in color and smell. With this form of mastitis, breastfeeding should be stopped immediately.
- Phlegmonous mastitis. With this disease, pus accumulates in the layer of subcutaneous tissue and spreads in the inner layers of the skin. Initially, it does not enter the milk, but after the bacteria has spread to the lobes, purulent chunks will be noticed in the milk.
- Abscessive mastitis. This form manifests itself in the form of an abscess on the affected part of the mammary glands. Abscessive mastitis is very rarely diagnosed.
- Gangrenous mastitis. It is considered the most severe form of the disease in which the mammary gland tissue dies and decomposes.
Causes of mastitis in dogs
There are many reasons why a dog may develop mastitis. These include the following:
- Injury to the mammary glands by the sharp claws of puppies during feeding can lead to harmful bacteria causing inflammation to enter the wounds.
- Stagnant processes in the mammary glands (it is called congestive mastitis), caused by the accumulation of milk, which remains in the udder, if the dog has a dead offspring, they are early weaned from the breast, or with strong lactation.
- With emphysematous fruits (decomposed in utero), a fetus that lingers in the birth canal, infection of the female during gestation of the offspring with endometritis, as well as gastrointestinal diseases, an infection penetrates the body, causing intoxication and inflammation, including in the mammary glands.
- False pregnancy can also cause breast mastitis.
- Clogging of the flowing sphincters of the nipple leads to stagnant, and then inflammatory processes.
In principle, mastitis in a bitch may occur due to a variety of influences - unnecessarily high or low temperatures, the ingress of chemicals into the area of the mammary glands, hormonal imbalance, and even a stressful situation can provoke such inflammation.
Well-groomed bitches that have hatched in a dirty place most often suffer from mastitis. In addition, if the mother of the bitch had mastitis, then it is likely that she will appear in her.
Clinical manifestations of the disease
As already mentioned above, not all types of mastitis can be diagnosed independently, due to the absence of clear symptoms in the disease, but, in most cases, there are still certain characteristic signs:
- the dog becomes lethargic, inactive, eats little or completely refuses food;
- with the naked eye it is clear that the mammary glands swell, when felt they are hot, and the dog feels pain from touching;
- the skin on the glands redden;
- if you press on the nipple, then milk with an admixture of purulent exudate (greenish-brown, grayish flakes) can stand out from them; with a purulent form of mastitis, a thick gray mass will flow out of the nipple, possibly with a blood admixture.
If medical attention is not provided on time, then a dog may develop a symptom of mastitis called an abscess. As a result, the places of accumulation of purulent masses are opened, a fistula is formed, from which gray pus oozes with particles of dead tissue. Such a condition can cause gangrenous infection of the udder.
Dog mastitis treatment
In the photo, treatment of the dog with laser therapy
After diagnosis, the question arises: "How to treat mastitis in a dog?". First of all, a sick dog needs complete rest. If she feeds her offspring, then she must be freed from this obligation and transferred to artificial feeding puppies, or transferred to another lactating female.
For the treatment of the initial stages of mastitis, conservative therapy is used:
- Laser Therapy It is carried out using special laser devices. For this treatment, 3-5 sessions lasting a half to two minutes are enough.
- Antibiotic therapy. Drugs are prescribed based on the cause of the development of the disease. It is best if the dog undergoes a diagnostic examination to identify the pathogen from secretory milk secretions.
- Novocainic blockade. This method is used to treat the initial stage of purulent or catarrhal type of mastitis. The blockade is carried out by injecting a solution of novocaine around the affected area. If necessary, the manipulation is recommended to be repeated after three days. With outpatient therapy, blockade can be performed once every three days using the antibiotic bicillin-3.
In the recovery phase, heat can be applied to the affected mammary glands - heating pads, compresses, paraffin wax applications, and lamp irradiation. The use of ozokerite (mountain wax) gives an excellent result, as it warms even the deepest layers of tissues.
If mastitis is accompanied by an abscess, then thermal procedures are not recommended, since they can provoke the opening of purulent congestion and pus on healthy tissue.
In modern medicine, the drug Mastometrin, which eliminates inflammation and restores the functionality of the endometrium, is used to treat mastitis in dogs. Often it is used together with Traumatin, injected into a muscle or subcutaneously in the same syringe. The course of treatment lasts from three to five days.
If conservative treatment does not give positive dynamics within a few days, then in the presence of multiple abscesses with purulent formations, surgery is prescribed.
Abscesses are opened, the cavities cleared of pus are filled up with antimicrobial powder agents, for example, Streptocide or Tricillin. Then, until complete healing, the damaged areas are lubricated with ointments with antimicrobial and regenerative effects.
A real example of the treatment of mastitis:
How to prevent the disease
Each owner should take full care of his pet:
- provide hygienic conditions;
- provide a complete diet;
- look after the dog’s coat and teeth;
- ensure that the pet is not injured;
- avoid overcooling the dog.
The dog requires particularly careful care during the period of gestation and in the postpartum period. At this time, the animal may develop various complications, and the owner must ensure timely treatment.
If the pet is kept in a booth or outdoor aviary, then it is necessary to insulate the booth and monitor the cleanliness of the litter, changing them as they become dirty. Litter should not be made of material that cannot be sanitized and cleaned (straw, hay, wood shavings). In winter, it is advisable to close the opening in the booth with a curtain that protects from the wind.
If we are talking about a dog kept in an apartment, then before giving birth she needs to equip a suitable place. It should not be located on the territory of the bathroom or kitchen, and the threshold of the apartment is not a suitable place.
A puppy lined with a cloth is best for whelping. After birth, the contaminated bedding must be replaced with a clean one. In order for the animal to easily leave the box and come back without hurt the nipples on the edge, one side can be made lower than the others and upholstered with dense material.
After giving birth, the dog's body should be wiped with a napkin or soft cloth moistened with a weak solution of potassium permanganate, especially carefully treating the contaminated area.
We should not forget about caring for the appearance of the dog, even after childbirth, it must be cleaned with a brush or other device, and comb the hair. Caring for the baby who has given birth will help prevent serious diseases.