Streptococcal infection in dogs: A retrospective study of 393 cases

Catherine G. Lamm, A. C. Ferguson, Terry W Lehenbauer, B. C. Love

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67 Scopus citations


Streptococcus spp are opportunistic pathogens that normally reside in the upper respiratory, intestinal, lower urinary, and genital tracts but can cause localized infection or septicemia in dogs of all ages. A retrospective study of streptococcal infection in 393 dogs was conducted to identify the species of Streptococcus isolated, determine demographics of affected dogs, and characterize the disease processes associated with infection. The major streptococcal species isolated were S canis (88 cases, 22.4%), S dysgalactiae ssp equisimilis (13, 3.3%), and S equi ssp zooepidemicus (4, 1.0%). Sex was not a risk factor (P gt;. 30). Fetuses and neonates were more likely to have streptococcal infection than were other age groups (P lt;. 001). Streptococcal septicemia was considered an important cause of abortion and neonatal death and was isolated from all samples submitted for aerobic culture from dogs in that age group. There was a seasonal trend, with dogs more likely to have streptococcal infection in summer months. In dogs for which a disease process was identified, streptococcal infection was associated with dermatitis (29 dogs), pneumonia (24 dogs), adult septicemia (13 dogs), and fetal/neonatal septicemia leading to abortion or neonatal death (16 dogs). Identification of other clinically significant bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic organisms was common (267 of 393 dogs, 68%), especially in dogs with dermatitis or pneumonia. Infection with Streptococcus spp should be considered in the differential diagnosis in cases of abortion, septicemia, dermatitis, and pneumonia in dogs. Clinical significance of isolation of streptococcal organisms should be interpreted in context of clinical signs and pathologic findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Abortion
  • Dermatitis
  • Dog
  • Lung
  • Necrotizing fasciitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Septicemia
  • Skin
  • Streptococcus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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