Friday, 4 November 2016

All About ... Septicaemia

What is it

Septicaemia is blood poisoning - the circulation of bacteria in large numbers in the blood stream.  Once it develops the infection can quickly spread to the bones, joints, organs and central nervous system.  


These can be subtle and are often seen as symptoms of other diseases BUT swift veterinary treatment is vital.  More often seen in young foals.

  • Depression 
  • Weakness 
  • Difficulty standing 
  • Rapid breathing 
  • Foals fail to suckle 
  • Coat is dull 
  • High temperature initially which then becomes unusually low 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Colic 
  • Laboured breathing 
  • Swollen joints


For foals:

  • bacteria can pass from the mare 
  • contaminated food or milk 
  • wounds

Other horses:

  • wounds left untreated and dirty allow bacteria to multiply

Call the VET. Antibiotics and antimicrobial drugs.  Keep any wound clean.  Horse must be kept warm and comfortable.  Fluid will be given and nutritional support is vital.  


Good hygiene around wound sites and prompt treatment.  For foals hygiene throughout pregnancy, during and after foaling. 

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Until next time!

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