Where did the
streptococci come from?
Impossible to say, from another dog or from a human? I had myself
tested afterwards, I did not have any. One of the other tested
Borzoi, who had met Shêtan during the last days of his
life, also had the same type of streptococci and of course, tonsillitis.
It took almost 2 months of testings, and 2 types of antibiotics
until she was declared free of it. Her owners also tested themselves,
neither had streptococci.
spread through saliva for example. Just like any good old cold
would, by sneezing and coughing. If you ignore the tonsillitis
of your own dog, you can very well spread it. Maybe your own
dog will not get really sick, but somewhere along the line of
infection another dog may die. Don't look your dog down the throat
and say "it is just a sore throat" and drag him off
to meet a lot of other dogs.
Not too long ago a friend of mine had a bitch with an infection
in the womb. She was treated with antibiotics and the vet recommended
she should be bred as soon as possible. When she came into heat
the owner made a vaginaltest and she proved to still (or again)
have the kind of streptococci that may produce toxin. It is not
unusual to breed a bitch under these circumstances, but how many
test the bitch just before the breeding? And what happens to
the pups? Will there be any conception at all? If the bitch's
own immune system plus the antibiotic treatment did not kill
the streptococci, how is the immune system of the bitch going
to protect the unborn pups? What it the result? I don't know,
In this case antibiotics was given before breeding and we can
only hope it helped.
When I posted on the mail lists, I got answers from all kind
of people, from all over the world (except Asia) and representing
all the 10 FCI breed groups. Many told about how their dogs had
died in Sudden Death and how they now regretted they never thought
to have a necropsy done. People just seem to assume it is the
heart and never bother to investigate.
why we suddenly have found 3 similar cases in Sweden in such
a short time is rather simple.
had his necropsy done at Ultuna, where our future veterinarians
are studying. It is far more likely that students, still curious,
will push for the real answer and keep looking until the find
it. After talking to some vets they all agree that many necropsies
are done by a vet who has been working all day, he is tired and
really not very interested in what killed your dog. When he can't
see anything but the very obvious circulation failure, he will
put that down, or maybe blame it on cardiomypathy. He just wants
to go home. Are you aware of how few vets know that the heart
of sighthound is bigger than normal? How many cardiomypathys
has mistakenly been diagnosed because of this?
- The second
Borzoi to have a necropsy done was also left at Ultuna, 6 months
later. They don't exactly do a necropsy on Borzoi every day,
they quite likely remembered the last case.
- The third
Borzoi to die, had necropsy at another place. The owners first
tried one vet clinic and asked them to look at the tonsils especially.
The personel turned so nasty at that, the owners took their dead
dog elsewhere. At the next place the vets laughed and said; "dogs
do not die from tonsillitis, ha ha!" They were quite surprised
at what they found...
knowledge is not new
The first time I heard of a sighthounds sudden death being diagnosed
as a result of streptococci in tonsills, was years ago. A woman
now owning Borzoi, told me her 5 year old Saluki had this diagnose
at the end of 89 - 90.
1997, there was a seminar for veterinarians in Sweden, about
hearts I believe.
One of the vets attending this seminar was told about our 3 deaths
and we urged him to bring it up at the conference. Do you know
what the reaction was?
is neither strange nor unusual for dogs to die from tonsillitis.
Next topic please."
simply don't care or they think this is an everyday occurance.
If it is so common, how come so few are diagnosed as such?
One of the
more interesting mails I've got lately, had this passage in it
come to our attention that, in humans, a link has been found
between Myocarditis (an infection of the heart that may cause
sudden cardiac symptoms) and a form of Adenovirus, which of course
is related to the Adenovirus that causes one of the "kennel
cough" diseases that dogs suffer from. It was previously
known that similar infections could be caused by another virus,
refered to as the Coxsackie B virus. More information on this
may be found at:http://ipn.intelihealth.com/ipn/ihtIPN?c=152329
Food for thought...
has raised many more questions than anwers, and I have no answers
for them. No more than I can answer the question "if 3 infection
induced sudden deaths in Sweden is just a coincidence, or the
key to unravel a part of the mystery of Sudden Death"
I know of some people who can help me find out.