Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

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Puppy Strangles


What are puppy strangles?

Puppy strangles, more properly known as juvenile cellulitis or sometimes juvenile pyoderma, results from a temporary compromise of the puppy’s immune system causing nodules or pustules on the skin.  It usually occurs between 3 weeks and 4 months of age.

 How do I know if my puppy has juvenile cellulitis?

Puppies with juvenile cellulitus have skin nodules or pustules, usually on the face or ears.  Lymph nodes or skin around the face may be swollen.  The puppy may have tender skin or joint pain.  Diagnosis is made by a skin biopsy but other tests may be done to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms.

 What does having juvenile cellulitis mean for my puppy?

This disease is not life-threatening but can be painful.  Treatment is aimed at controlling pain and inflammation, preventing or treating secondary skin infections, and preventing scarring.

 Is juvenile cellulitis a breeding concern? 

No.  This is not a hereditary disease nor is it infectious.  Puppies which have juvenile cellulitus almost never have it a second time.