|Clinical and laboratory findings were evaluated in 18 dogs with suspected septic arthritis of stifle, elbow, carpal, hip and/or tarsal joints. In 11 dogs, arthritis was induced hematogenously and in 7, after joint surgery or joint trauma. All animals exhibited joint pain and exercise intolerance.
Primary bacterial sources were associated with abscesses, bite wounds, enteritis, dermatitis, cystitis and/or endometritis after birth. Sinovial fluid revealed Staphylococcus intermedius, Streptococcus spp, Enterococcus Group 3, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Coagulative-negative staphylococcus (CNS), and Bacillus spp in 8 dogs.
In 78% of septic joints, total nucleated cell count in synovial fluid was 50 x 109/l or more, and neutrophils varied from 50% to 95%. Radiography revealed soft tissue swelling or joint effusion (17 joints), subchondral bone destruction (6 joints) and new bone proliferation (11 joints).
The findings suggest that accurate diagnosis of septic joint arthritis in dogs requires clinical, physical, radiographic and synovial fluid examination.
Source: Soontornvipart K, Zatloukal J, Kohout P, Dvorak M. (2003): Clinical and laboratory findings in dogs with septic joint arthritis. In:
Online Journal of Veterinary Research 7 : 43-51, 2003.
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