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Septicemia | Johns Hopkins Medicine

What is septicemia?

Septicemia, or sepsis, is the clinical name for blood poisoning by bacteria. It is the body’s most extreme response to an infection. Sepsis that progresses to septic shock has a death rate as high as 50%, depending on the type of organism involved. Sepsis is a medical emergency and needs urgent medical treatment. Without treatment, sepsis can quickly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

What causes sepsis?

These infections are most often associated with sepsis:

These 3 germs most frequently develop into sepsis are:

  • Staphylococcus aureus (staph)

  • Escherichia coli (E. coli)

  • Some types of Streptococcus

Who is at risk for sepsis?

An infection can happen to anyone, but there are certain risk factors that put people at higher risk for developing sepsis. These include people with:

  • Chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, lung disease, immune system disorders, and kidney disease

  • Weak immune systems

  • Community-acquired pneumonia

  • A previous hospitalization (especially hospitalization for an infection)

Also at risk are:

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

The following are the most common symptoms of sepsis. However, each person may experience symptoms differently.

People with sepsis often develop a hemorrhagic rash—a cluster of tiny blood spots that look like pinpricks in the skin. If untreated, these gradually get bigger and begin to look like fresh bruises. These bruises then join together to form larger areas of purple skin damage and discoloration.

Sepsis develops very quickly. The person rapidly becomes very ill, and may:

  • Lose interest in food and surroundings

  • Become feverish

  • Have a high heart rate

  • Become nauseated

  • Vomit

  • Become sensitive to light

  • Complain of extreme pain or discomfort

  • Feel cold, with cool hands and feet

  • Become lethargic, anxious, confused, or agitated

  • Experience a coma and sometimes death

Those who become ill more slowly may also develop some of the signs of meningitis. The symptoms of sepsis may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is sepsis diagnosed?

The diagnose sepsis, your healthcare provider will look for a variety of physical finding such as low blood pressure, fever, increased heart rate, and increased breathing rate. Your provider will also do a variety of lab tests that check for signs of infection and organ damage. Since some sepsis symptoms (such as fever and trouble breathing) can often be seen in other conditions, sepsis can be hard to diagnose in its initial stages.

How is sepsis treated?

Specific treatment for sepsis will be determined by your healthcare provider based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history

  • Extent of the condition

  • Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies

  • Expectations for the course of the condition

  • Your opinion or preference

Sepsis is a life-threatening emergency that needs immediate medical attention. People with sepsis are hospitalized and treatment is started as quickly as possible. Treatment includes antibiotics, managing blood flow to organs, and treating the source of the infection. Many people need oxygen and IV (intravenous) fluids to help get blood flow and oxygen to the organs. Depending on the person, help with breathing with a ventilator or kidney dialysis may be needed. Surgery is sometimes used to remove tissue damaged by the infection.

How can I prevent sepsis?

One of the most important infection control behaviors is hand washing. You should wash hands with clean, running water for at least 20 seconds. Wash your hands:

  • Before eating

  • After using the toilet

  • Before and after caring for a sick person

  • Before, during, and after preparing food

  • Before and after cleaning a wound or cut

  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

  • After touching an animal or handling pet food or pet treats

  • After changing diapers or cleaning up after a child who has used the toilet

  • After touching garbage

To help keep your immune system strong and prevent sepsis, also:

  • Keep cuts clean and covered until healed.

  • Manage chronic medical conditions such as diabetes.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

  • Eat a healthy well-balanced diet.

  • Exercise.

  • Get recommended vaccinations on schedule.

  • When an infected area is not getting better or is getting worse, get medical care.

Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention


What is sepsis?

Sepsis is a medical emergency caused by the body’s response to an infection and can be life-threatening. Sepsis is the consequence of widespread inflammation (swelling) in the body. Inflammation and blood clotting during sepsis causes reduced blood flow to limbs and vital organs, and can lead to organ failure and even death. Over 1.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with sepsis yearly, and approximately 30% of patients do not survive.

Who is at risk for sepsis?

Sepsis can affect anyone, but those at particular risk include:

  • The very old (older than 65 years old) or very young or pregnant women
  • People with pre-existing infections or medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer and kidney disease
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Patients who are in the hospital
  • People with severe injuries, such as large burns or wounds
  • Patients with catheters (IVs, urinary catheters) or a breathing tube

Symptoms and Causes

What causes sepsis?

Bacterial infections are the most common cause of sepsis. Sepsis can also be caused by fungal, parasitic, or viral infections. The source of the infection can be any of a number of places throughout the body. Common sites and types of infection that can lead to sepsis include:

  • The abdomen: An infection of the appendix (appendicitis), bowel problems, infection of the abdominal cavity (peritonitis), and gallbladder or liver infections.
  • The central nervous system: Infections of the brain or the spinal cord.
  • The lungs: Infections such as pneumonia.
  • The skin: Bacteria can enter skin through wounds or skin inflammation, or through the openings made with intravenous (IV) catheters (tubes inserted into the body to give or drain fluids). Conditions such as cellulitis (inflammation of the skin’s connective tissue) can also cause sepsis.
  • The urinary tract (kidneys or bladder): Urinary tract infections are especially likely if the patient has a urinary catheter to drain urine.

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

Because of the many sites on the body from which sepsis can originate, there are a number of symptoms. The most prominent are:

  • Fast heart rate
  • Fever or hypothermia (very low body temperature)
  • Shaking or chills
  • Warm or clammy/sweaty skin
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Hyperventilation (rapid breathing) or shortness of breath

Diagnosis and Tests

How is sepsis diagnosed?

A person may have sepsis if he or she has:

  • A high or low white blood cell count
  • A low platelet count
  • Acidosis (too much acid in the blood)
  • A blood culture that is positive for infection
  • Abnormal kidney or liver function

Management and Treatment

How is sepsis treated?

The most important concern in sepsis is quick diagnosis and prompt treatment. Patients diagnosed with severe sepsis are usually placed in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital for special treatment. The doctor will first try to identify the source and the type of infection, obtain blood and urine tests and X-rays or CT scans, and give the patient antibiotics to treat the infection. (Note: Antibiotics are ineffective against infections caused by viruses.)

IV (intravenous or in the vein) fluids are administered to prevent blood pressure from dropping too low. In some cases, the patient may need vasopressor medications (which tighten blood vessels) to reach an adequate blood pressure. And finally, if organ failures occur, the patient will receive the appropriate supportive care (for example, dialysis for kidney failure, mechanical ventilation for respiratory failure, etc.).


How can I help prevent sepsis?

  • Apply good hand-washing practices
  • Keep up to date on recommended vaccines
  • Get routine medical care for chronic conditions
  • Get medical attention immediately if you suspect an infection


Are there resources for people with sepsis?

You might find the following information to be useful if you are interested in finding sepsis resources:

Sepsis – Symptoms and causes


Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues. When the infection-fighting processes turn on the body, they cause organs to function poorly and abnormally.

Sepsis may progress to septic shock. This is a dramatic drop in blood pressure that can lead to severe organ problems and death.

Early treatment with antibiotics and intravenous fluids improves chances for survival.

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Signs and symptoms of sepsis

To be diagnosed with sepsis, you must have a probable or confirmed infection and all of the following signs:

  • Change in mental status
  • Systolic blood pressure — the first number in a blood pressure reading — less than or equal to 100 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)
  • Respiratory rate higher than or equal to 22 breaths a minute

Signs and symptoms of septic shock

Septic shock is a severe drop in blood pressure that results in highly abnormal problems with how cells work and produce energy. Progression to septic shock increases the risk of death. Signs of progression to septic shock include:

  • The need for medication to maintain systolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 65 mm Hg.
  • High levels of lactic acid in your blood (serum lactate). Having too much lactic acid in your blood means that your cells aren’t using oxygen properly.

When to see a doctor

Most often, sepsis occurs in people who are hospitalized or who have recently been hospitalized. People in an intensive care unit are more likely to develop infections that can then lead to sepsis.

Any infection, however, could lead to sepsis. See your doctor about an infection or wound that hasn’t responded to treatment. Signs or symptoms, such as confusion or rapid breathing, require emergency care.


While any type of infection — bacterial, viral or fungal — can lead to sepsis, infections that more commonly result in sepsis include infections of:

  • Lungs, such as pneumonia
  • Kidney, bladder and other parts of the urinary system
  • Digestive system
  • Bloodstream (bacteremia)
  • Catheter sites
  • Wounds or burns

Risk factors

Several factors increase the risk of sepsis, including:

  • Older age
  • Infancy
  • Compromised immune system
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney or liver disease
  • Admission to intensive care unit or longer hospital stays
  • Invasive devices, such as intravenous catheters or breathing tubes
  • Previous use of antibiotics or corticosteroids


As sepsis worsens, blood flow to vital organs, such as your brain, heart and kidneys, becomes impaired. Sepsis may cause abnormal blood clotting that results in small clots or burst blood vessels that damage or destroy tissues.

Most people recover from mild sepsis, but the mortality rate for septic shock is about 40%. Also, an episode of severe sepsis places you at higher risk of future infections.

Jan. 19, 2021

Gangrene – Symptoms – NHS

The symptoms of gangrene vary depending on the underlying cause. It can affect any part of the body, but typically starts in the toes, feet, fingers or hands.

General symptoms of gangrene include:

  • initial redness and swelling 
  • either a loss of sensation or severe pain in the affected area
  • sores or blisters that bleed or release a dirty-looking or foul-smelling discharge (if the gangrene is caused by an infection)
  • the skin becoming cold and pale


In some cases, the affected limb may feel heavy and pressing the skin may produce a crackling sound. These symptoms are caused by a build-up of gas under the skin.

If the area is infected, you may also have other signs related to the underlying infection, such as:

  • a high temperature of 38C or above
  • feeling hot and shivery
  • loss of appetite
  • rapid heartbeat and breathing
  • dizziness

Without treatment the affected tissue will start to die. When this happens, the area changes colour from red to brown to purple or black, before shrivelling up and falling away from the surrounding healthy tissue.

When to seek medical advice

The earlier treatment for gangrene begins, the more effective it’s likely to be. Contact your GP immediately if you have:

  • any of the symptoms of gangrene mentioned above
  • a persistent fever
  • a wound that’s unusually slow to heal

If your GP isn’t available, call NHS 111 or your local out-of-hours service for advice.

When to seek emergency help

If bacteria from gangrene pass into your bloodstream, you could go into septic shock. This is a life-threatening condition that occurs when an infection causes your blood pressure to drop to a dangerously low level.

Signs of septic shock include:

  • a rapid but weak pulse
  • dizziness when you stand up
  • a change in your mental state, such as confusion or disorientation
  • breathing difficulties
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • cold, clammy and pale skin

Dial 999 immediately to request an ambulance if you suspect that you or someone you know is in septic shock.

Page last reviewed: 16 August 2018
Next review due: 16 August 2021

Can mottled skin be a sign of septicaemia and what does a sepsis rash look like?

SEPSIS is rare but serious, so it’s important that it’s treated immediately.

If you are worried that a rash you or your child has developed could be a sign of the condition, this is what you should be looking out for.


It’s important to learn what a sepsis rash looks likeCredit: Alamy

What does a sepsis rash look like?

People with sepsis often develop a hemorrhagic rash.

This may be a reddish discolouration, or a cluster of tiny blood spots that look like pinpricks in the skin.

If untreated, these dark dots gradually get bigger and begin to look like fresh bruises.


A haemorrhagic rash looks like red pin pricks on the skinCredit: Alamy

They then join together to form larger areas of purple discoloration.

If you or someone you know has a rash that you’re worried could be a sign of sepsis, try pressing it down.

A sepsis rash won’t fade with pressure.

Can mottled skin be a sign of septicaemia?

Yes, it can.

According to the NHS, you should go straight to A&E or call 999 if a child under five looks mottled, bluish or pale.

In older children and adults, cold, clammy and pale or mottled skin could be a sign of sepsis or septicaemia.

Hands and feet may also be cold and clammy, even if the patient has a raised temperature.


The NHS has detailed symptoms you should look out forCredit: Getty – Contributor

What are the other symptoms of sepsis and septicaemia?

In children under five, the NHS recommends going straight to A&E or calling 999 if they:

  • look mottled, bluish or pale
  • are very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • feel abnormally cold to touch
  • are breathing very fast
  • have a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • have a fit or convulsion


The rash can develop to look like a bruiseCredit: Infect Med

In older children and adults, early symptoms of sepsis may include:

  • a high temperature (fever) or low body temperature
  • chills and shivering
  • a fast heartbeat
  • fast breathing

In some cases, symptoms of more severe sepsis or septic shock (when your blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level) develop soon after.

These can include:

  • feeling dizzy or faint
  • a change in mental state – such as confusion or disorientation
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea and vomiting
  • slurred speech
  • severe muscle pain
  • severe breathlessness
  • less urine production than normal – for example, not urinating for a day
  • cold, clammy and pale or mottled skin
  • loss of consciousness

Make sure you know the difference between sepsis and septicaemia.

For more information, visit the NHS website.

12-year-old Sasha Burrell lost both legs up to the knee after contracting life-threatening sepsis



Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection (3). If not recognized early and managed promptly, it can lead to septic shock, multiple organ failure and death. It is most frequently a serious complication
of infection, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where it represents a major cause of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

In the community setting, sepsis often presents as the clinical deterioration of common and preventable infections. Sepsis also frequently results from infections acquired in health care settings, which are one of the most frequent adverse events during
care delivery and affect hundreds of millions of patients worldwide every year (2).

Healthcare-associated infections are often resistant to antibiotics and can rapidly lead to deteriorating clinical conditions. Antimicrobial resistance is a major factor determining clinical unresponsiveness to treatment and rapid evolution to sepsis
and septic shock. Sepsis patients with resistant pathogens have been found to have a higher risk of hospital mortality.

Implementing preventive measures against infections, such as good hygiene practices, ensuring access to vaccination programmes, improved sanitation and water quality and availability, and other infection prevention and control best practices both in the
community and health care settings, are key steps in reducing the occurrence of sepsis. Early diagnosis and timely and appropriate clinical management of sepsis, such as optimal antimicrobial use and fluid resuscitation, are crucial to increase the
likelihood of survival. Even though the onset of sepsis can be acute and poses a short-term mortality burden, it can also be the cause of significant long-term morbidity requiring treatment and support. Thus, sepsis requires a multidisciplinary approach.

Who is at risk?

Anyone affected by an infection, severe injury, or serious non-communicable disease can progress to sepsis but vulnerable populations are at higher risk (4) including:

  • older persons,
  • pregnant or recently pregnant women,
  • neonates,
  • hospitalized patients,
  • patients in intensive care units,
  • people with HIV/AIDS,
  • people with liver cirrhosis,
  • people with cancer,
  • people with kidney disease,
  • people with autoimmune diseases,
  • and people with no spleen.

Signs and symptoms

Sepsis is a medical emergency and can present with various signs and symptoms at different times. Warning signs and symptoms include:

  • fever or low temperature and shivering,
  • altered mental status,
  • difficulty breathing/rapid breathing,
  • increased heart rate,
  • weak pulse/low blood pressure,
  • low urine output,
  • cyanotic or mottled skin,
  • cold extremities,
  • and extreme body pain or discomfort (5-7).

Suspecting sepsis is a first major step towards early recognition and diagnosis.

Common Causes

In 2017, the largest contributors to sepsis cases and sepsis-related mortality across all ages were diarrhoeal diseases (9.2 to 15 million annual cases) and lower respiratory infections (1.8-2.8 million annually) (1). However, non-communicable diseases
are on the rise; one-third of sepsis cases and nearly half of all sepsis-related deaths in 2017 were due to an underlying injury or chronic disease (1). Maternal disorders were the most common non-communicable disease complicated by sepsis. Among
children, the most common causes of sepsis-related deaths were neonatal disorders, lower respiratory infections, and diarrhoeal diseases (1). Group B streptococcus is the leading cause of both neonatal and maternal sepsis, though Escherichia coli is an emerging threat (8,9).  Both of these pathogens have displayed considerable resistance to  treatment and are considered priority pathogens for research and development (R&D) of new antibiotics.

Sepsis Prevention

There are two main steps to preventing sepsis:

  1. Prevention of microbial transmission and infection
  2. Prevention of an infection evolving into sepsis

Prevention of infection in the community involves using effective hygiene practices, such as hand washing, and safe preparation of food, improving sanitation and water quality and availability, providing access to vaccines, particularly for those
at high risk, as well as appropriate nutrition, including breastfeeding for newborns.

Prevention of infection in health care facilities mainly relies on having functioning infection prevention and control (IPC) programmes and teams, effective hygiene practices and precautions, including hand hygiene, along with a clean, well-functioning
environment and equipment.

Prevention of the evolution to sepsis in both community and health care facilities requires the appropriate antibiotic treatment of infection, including reassessment for optimization, prompt seeking of medical care, and early detection of sepsis
signs and symptoms.

Diagnosis and Clinical Management

Identifying and not underestimating the signs and symptoms listed above, along with the detection of some biomarkers (such as C reactive protein and procalcitonin), are crucial elements for early diagnosis of sepsis and the timely establishment of its
appropriate clinical management. After early recognition, diagnostics to help identify a causal pathogen of infection leading to sepsis are important to guide targeted antimicrobial treatment. Once the source of infection is determined, source control,
such as drainage of an abscess, is critical. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) can jeopardize clinical management of sepsis because empirical antibiotic treatment is often required.  Early fluid resuscitation to improve volume status is also important
in the initial phase of sepsis management. In addition, vasopressors may be required to improve and maintain tissue perfusion. Repeated exams and assessments, including monitoring vital signs, guide the appropriate management of sepsis over time.

Sepsis is a significant cause of maternal, neonatal and child mortality. Consequently, combating sepsis will contribute to achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets 3.8 on quality of care, and 3.1 and 3.2 by improving mortality rates in these vulnerable populations. Sepsis can also ultimately lead to death in patients
affected by HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases that are included in target 3. 3. The prevention and/or appropriate diagnosis and management of sepsis is also linked to adequate vaccine coverage, quality universal health coverage,
capacity to comply with the International Health Regulations, preparedness, and water and sanitation services. The challenge, however, remains how to achieve universal prevention, diagnosis and management of sepsis.

WHO Sepsis Response

To combat this important global health threat, WHO responded with a WHO Secretariat Report and, in May 2017, the Seventieth World Health Assembly adopted Resolution WHA70.7 on Improving the prevention, diagnosis and clinical management of sepsis.
The key pillars of Resolution WHA 70.7 are to:

  1. Develop WHO guidance on sepsis prevention and management
  2. Draw attention to public health impacts of sepsis and estimate the global burden of sepsis
  3. Support Member States to define and implement standards and establish guidelines, infrastructure, laboratory capacity, strategies, and tools for identifying, reducing incidence of, and morbidity and mortality due to sepsis
  4. Collaborate with UN organizations, partners, international organizations, and stakeholders to enhance sepsis treatment and infection prevention and control including vaccinations

In collaboration and coordination with WHO regional offices, Member States and other stakeholders, several WHO headquarters programmes are currently working on the public health impact of sepsis and providing guidance and country support on sepsis prevention,
early and appropriate diagnosis, and timely and appropriate clinical management.


(1)   Rudd KE, Johnson SC, Agesa KM, Shackelford KA, Tsoi D, Kievlan DR, et al. Global, regional, and national sepsis incidence and mortality, 1990-2017: analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet (London, England). 2020;395(10219):200-11.

(2)   World Health Organization. WHO Report on the burden of endemic health care-associated infection worldwide. 2017-11-21 15:11:22 2011.

(3)   Singer M, Deutschman CS, Seymour CW, et al. The Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock (Sepsis-3). JAMA 2016; 315(8): 801-10.

(4)   Gotts JE, Matthay MA. Sepsis: pathophysiology and clinical management. British Medical Journal 2016.

(5)   United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthcare Professional (HCP) Resources : Sepsis. Updated August 27, 2019. T06:23:15Z. https://www.cdc.gov/sepsis/get-ahead-of-sepsis/hcp-resources.html (accessed 25 February 2020).

(6)   Global Sepsis Alliance. Toolkits. https://www.world-sepsis-day.org/toolkits/ (accessed 25 February 2020).

(7)   UK Sepsis Trust. Education. 2018. https://sepsistrust.org/education/ (accessed 25 February 2020).

(8)   Lawn JE, Bianchi-Jassir F, Russell NJ, Kohli-Lynch M, Tann CJ, Hall J, et al. Group B Streptococcal Disease Worldwide for Pregnant Women, Stillbirths, and Children: Why, What, and How to Undertake Estimates? Clin Infect Dis. 2017;65(suppl_2):S89-S99.

(9)   Stoll BJ, Hansen NI, Sanchez PJ, Faix RG, Poindexter BB, Van Meurs KP, et al. Early onset neonatal sepsis: the burden of group B Streptococcal and E. coli disease continues. Pediatrics. 2011;127(5):817-26.


Manual on meat inspection for developing countries

Manual on meat inspection for developing countries

Fever is an abnormal elevated body temperature. It may be
classified as septic and aseptic according to the presence or non
presence of an infection. In septic fever the infection is caused by
viruses, bacteria, bacterial toxins, protozoa and fungi. Aseptic
fever may be caused by a) tissue necrosis as seen in muscle
degradation due to intermuscular injection of necrotizing
substances, in rapidly growing tumours undergoing necrosis or
lysis of burned tissue; b) by chemicals or surgery. In former by
an administration of drugs and in latter by breakdown of tissue and
blood. c) during anaphylactic reaction of antibodies to the foreign

Antemortem findings :

  1. Chills and sweating

  2. Dehydration

  3. Elevated body temperature

  4. Increased pulse and respiration

  5. Depression and dullness

  6. Anorexia and obstipation

In septic fever the other signs may include

  1. Diarrhoea and vomiting

  2. Urinous or phenolic odour or breath

  3. Shock, convulsions and coma

Postmortem findings :

  1. Rigor mortis

  2. Putrefaction

  3. Congestion of subcutaneous blood vessels and carcass

  4. Enlarged lymph nodes

  5. Evidence of cloudy swelling of liver, heart and kidneys

Judgement : Carcass is condemned if fever syndrome is associated
with presence of bacteria or bacterial toxins in the blood and/or
findings of drugs and antimicrobial substances.

If typical signs of fevered carcass are not seen carcass should be
held for 24 hours after slaughter and re-examined. In case of mild
fevered syndrome detected first on postmortem inspection, the
carcass may be conditionally approved with heat treatment
providing that bacteriological and chemical test are negative.

Differential diagnosis : Hyperthermia and septicemia. In
hyperthermia the elevation of body temperature is caused by
physical factors such as high environmental temperature or
prolonged muscular exertion, particularly in humid weather.

Inflammation associated with viral diseases is usually secondary
to primary cellular change. Secondary bacterial infections
frequently accompany and complicate viral diseases particularly
respiratory and skin diseases. Viral infection associated with fever,
malaise, anorexia or incoordination is attributed to absorption of
injured cell products, viral toxicity and viral abnormalities which
cause circulatory disturbances. Vascular shock together with viral
toxicity and failure of one or more vital organs, is thought to be
associated with death in viral diseases.

Septicemia is a morbid condition caused by the presence of
pathogenic bacteria and their associated toxins in the blood. The
positive diagnosis of septicemia can only be made by isolation of
the causative organism from the blood stream. This is not
practised on routine antemortem examination of animals in
abattoirs; however, the evidence of septicemia is determined by
the antemortem and postmortem findings.

Antemortem findings :

  1. Depression

  2. Changes in body temperature. The temperature is usually
    elevated but it can also be normal and subnormal during the
    terminal phases.

  3. Difficult and rapid breathing

  4. Shivering and muscle tremors

  5. Congestion or petechial haemorrhages of conjunctivae,
    mouth and vulvar mucosae

Postmortem findings :

  1. Enlarged edematous or haemorrhagic lymph nodes

  2. Degenerative changes in parenchymatous organs (liver, heart
    and kidneys)

  3. Congestion and petechial or ecchymotic haemorrhages in
    kidney, heart surface, mucous and serous membranes,
    connective tissue and panniculus adiposis

  4. Splenomegaly

  5. Inadequately bled-out carcass as a result of high fever

  6. Blood stained serous exudate in abdominal and/or thoracic

  7. Anaemia resulting from bone marrow depression and icterus
    may also be present.

One or more lesions may be absent. However if one significant
lesion is present, such as, generalized acute lymphadenitis, the
carcass must be condemned. All gross lesions in the carcass and
organs must be considered before the animal is judged septicemic.

Septicemia is found in many infectious diseases including acute
forms of salmonellosis, leptospirosis, swine erysipelas, hog
cholera and in anthrax in cattle.

Judgement : The animals, animal carcasses, offal and other
detached portions of animals affected with septicemia are
condemned. In borderline cases bacteriological examination should
be done wherever possible.

The identification of toxaemia presents some difficulties on
routine antemortem and postmortem examination. The gross
lesions differ depending on the specific organisms and toxins
involved. Also the clinical signs of toxaemia simulate a variety of
other pathologic conditions.

Toxaemia is defined as the presence and rapid proliferation of
exotoxin and endotoxin derived from microorganisms or produced
by body cells in the blood-stream. Clinical signs and postmortem
findings are similar to those of septicemia.

Antemortem findings :

  1. Normal or subnormal temperature. Fever may be present if
    toxaemia is due to microorganisms.

  2. Confusion and convulsions

  3. Abnormal changes in locomotion;

  4. Moribund animal or evidence of pain (noted by grinding its

  5. Animal is not able to rise or rises with great difficulty

  6. Dehydration may also be present

Postmortem findings :

  1. Haemorrhage in organs

  2. Normal or enlarged and edematous lymph nodes (not
    hyperplastic as in septicemia)

  3. Areas of tissue necrosis

  4. Emphysema in cattle

  5. Rarely degenerative changes of parenchymatous organs
    (heart, liver and kidneys).

Toxaemia is frequently associated with:

  1. Gangrenous mastitis

  2. Metritis

  3. Aspiration pneumonia

  4. Old wounds and injuries

  5. Diffuse peritonitis due to perforation of the reticulum or

All these signs may not be seen in every animal affected with

Judgement : If there is evidence of septicemia or toxaemia the
carcass and the viscera should be condemned and the implements
used during inspection and the hands and arms of the inspector
should be washed and disinfected. The primary lesions causing
septicemia or toxaemia including metritis, mastitis, pericarditis,
enteritis and others, should be observed and recorded as causes of
condemnation. Comatose or moribund animals should be
condemned on antemortem examination.

Pigments are classified as exogenous and endogenous.
Exogenous pigments are synthesized outside of the body and
endogenous within the body itself.

Pigments are coloured substances which accumulate in the body
cells during the normal physiological process and abnormally in
certain tumours and conditions. They have a different origins,
biological significance, and chemical composition.

In anthracosis, the carbon particles are found as a black pigment
in tissues. This condition is seen as black pigment of the lungs and
corresponding lymph nodes in animals raised in urban areas. The
lungs affected with anthracosis are condemned and the carcass is

The carotenoid pigments are exogenous pigments,
greenish-yellow in colour which consist of carotene A, carotene B,
and xanthophyll. They are important in meat inspection because
they cause yellowish discoloration in the fat and muscles of (Jersey
and Guernsey) cattle. Carotenoid pigments should be differentiated
from bile pigments in icterus. The bovine liver affected with this
condition is enlarged and shows a bright yellow colour. Such a
liver is condemned with the rationale that the affected liver
demonstrates some toxic changes, as damaged liver cells cannot
metabolize carotene. Liver carotenosis must be differentiated from
pale livers in advanced pregnancy.

The endogenous pigments, except for melanin and lipofuscin are
derivates of haemoglobin.

(A) Melanosis

Melanosis is an accumulation of melanin in various organs
including the kidneys, heart, lungs and liver (Fig. 19), and other
locations such as brain membranes, spinal cord, connective tissue,
periosteum etc. Melanin is an endogenous brown-black pigment
randomly distributed in tissue. In grey and white horses, this
pigment is found under the shoulder, axillary area and ligamentum
nuchae. Melanin is also found in lymph nodes, pig skin and belly
fat or mammary tissue in female pigs. This condition is called
“seedy belly” or “seedy cut” since the black colour in the
mammary tissue resembles round, black seeds. The melanotic
tissue in pigs shows a tendency towards neoplasia. Melanin
deposits in the oesophagus and adrenal glands in older sheep are
a common finding on postmortem examination. Multifocal deposits
of melanin in the liver of a calf is known as “Melanosis
maculosa”. It is common in calves and it usually disappears after
the first year of age.

Judgement : Carcasses showing extensive melanosis are
condemned. If the condition is localized, only the affected organ
or part of the carcass needs to be condemned.

Differential diagnosis : Haemorrhage, Melanoma, Distomatosis
(liver flukes)

(B) Myocardial lipofuscinosis (Brown atrophy of the heart,

Xanthosis (“Wear-and-Tear”) pigment is a brown pigmentation
of skeletal and heart muscles of cattle (Fig. 20). The condition is
seen in old animals such as “cull dairy cows” and in some chronic
wasting diseases. It is prevalent in Ayrshire cows and
approximately 28 % of normal Ayrshire cows have this pigment
in skeletal and heart muscles. Xanthosis is not dependent on the
age of animals in this breed.

Fig. 19: Melanin
deposits in the
sheep viscera.

Fig. 20:

(C) Congenital porphyria (osteohemochromatosis, pink

Porphyria is the accumulation of plant or endogenous porphyrins
in the blood resulting in tissue pigmentation and photosensitization.
This is a hereditary disease and is observed in cattle, swine and
sheep. In porphyric cattle, exposure to light will initiate the
development of photodynamic dermatitis. In swine, photodynamic
dermatitis does not occur.

The disease is also known as osteohemochromatosis, due to a
reddish brown bone pigmentation (Fig. 21), and “pink tooth”
because of a brownish-pink discoloration of teeth.

Judgement : Carcass showing extensive xanthosis is condemned.
If the condition is localized, only the affected organ or part of the
carcass needs to be condemned. Head and bones of a carcass
affected with osteohemochromatosis are condemned. The bones are
“boned out” and remaining muscles are approved. If the condition
is generalized the carcass is condemned.

Fig. 21 :
showing brown
pigmentation of
ribs and
vertebrae in a 6
months old

(D) Icterus(Jaundice)

Icterus is the result of an abnormal accumulation of bile
pigment, bilirubin, or of haemoglobin in the blood. Yellow
pigmentation is observed in the skin, internal organs (Fig. 22, 23),
sclerae (the white of the eye), tendons, cartilage, arteries, joint
surfaces etc. Icterus is a clinical sign of a faulty liver or bile duct
malfunction, but it may be also caused by diseases in which the
liver is not impaired. Jaundice is divided into three main
categories (Fig. 24).

  1. Prehepatic jaundice (haemolytic icterus)

  2. Hepatic jaundice (toxic icterus)

  3. Posthepatic jaundice (obstructive icterus)

Fig. 22: Jaundice of an aged cow caused by liver disease. Note
yellow discoloration of body fat, lungs, heart and kidneys.

Fig. 23: Yellow
discoloration of
pig viscera and
carcass caused
by cirrhosis of
the liver.

Fig. 24:
Classification of

  1. Pre-hepatic:
  2. Hepatic:
  3. Post-hepatic

Prehepatic jaundice occurs following excessive destruction of red
blood cells. Tick-borne diseases such as Babesia ovis and
Anaplasmosis cause this type of icterus, which is one of the main
causes of carcass condemnation in Southern Africa due to
prevalence of these parasites. Overproduced blood pigment, which
cannot be metabolized in the liver, builds up in the blood
(haemoglobinemia). It is excreted by the kidneys into the urine
(haemoglobinuria). Normal urine colour changes and becomes
bright red to dark red.

Hepatic jaundice occurs due to direct damage to liver cells as
seen in liver cirrhosis (Fig. 23), systemic infections, and in
chemical and plant poisoning. In sheep, jaundice may have been
caused by phytogenic chronic copper poisoning.

Liver function is impaired and the liver is unable to secrete bile
pigments. Obstructive jaundice occurs when the drainage of the
bile pigment bilirubin is blocked from entry into the intestine. This
usually occurs due to the obstruction of the hepatic ducts by a
tumour, by parasites such as flukes or by gall stones. Obstruction
may also occur due to an inflammation of the bile ducts. In hogs,
mature ascarides may occlude the bile ducts.

Judgement : Animals suspected to have icterus should be treated
as “suspects” on antemortem examination. On postmortem
examination, the carcass and viscera with haemolytic, toxic icterus
and obstructive icterus are condemned. Less severe cases are kept
in the chiller for 24 hours. Upon re-examination, the carcass may
be approved or condemned depending on the absence or presence
of pigment in the tissue. If the obstructive icterus disappears after
24 hours, the carcass and viscera can be passed for human food.

A simple laboratory test will help to make an objective test for bile
pigment icterus. Two drops of serum are mixed on a white tile
with two drops of Fouchets agent.2 A blue/green precipitate is
positive for bile icterus.

25 gm
FeCl3 (10 % solution) 10 ml
Distilled water 100 ml

Differential diagnosis : Yellow fat in animals with heavy corn
rations, nutritional panniculitis (yellow fat disease, steatitis) and
yellow fat seen in extensive bruises. In yellow fat disease, the fat
has a rancid odour and flavour upon cooking.

To differentiate icterus from the normal colour of fat of certain
breeds, the sclera, intima of the blood vessels, bone cartilage,
liver, connective tissue and renal pelvis should be examined. If
yellow discoloration is not noted in these tissues, icterus is not

Icterus should not be confused with yellow fat disease in hogs fed
predominantly on fish by-products or by the yellowish appearance
of tissue caused by breed characteristics or nutritional factors.

Haemorrhage is seen at slaughter in various organs, mucous and
serous membranes, skin, subcutaneous tissue and muscles. It may
be caused by trauma, acute infectious diseases or septicemia.

In pigs muscles haemorrhage is frequently associated with
fractures (Fig. 25). Petechial haemorrhage is noted as tiny foci 1 –
2 mm in diameter. Ecchymotic haemorrhage (Fig. 26) is larger
being up to 2 – 3 cm in size. Paint brush haemorrhage includes
extensive streaking with haemorrhage. Haemorrhage is also
associated with vitamin C deficiencies, a sudden increase in blood
pressure with weakened blood vessels, and improper electric
current stunning in pigs and sheep. Lengthy transportation,
exposure to stress before slaughter, hot weather and excitement are
some of the other factors which contribute to muscle haemorrhage.

Fig. 25: Fractured bone
and muscle haemorrhage
in a market hog.

Fig. 26:
haemorrhage in
the tongue
muscle of a

In haemorrhage caused by improper stunning, there may be a
delay between stunning and sticking of the animal. The electrical
current used in stunning causes cardiac muscle stimulation and
vasoconstriction of blood vessels. This might induce a rapid rise
in blood pressure leading to haemorrhages in the organs and
muscle (so called “blood splashing”).

The stunning of animals by a mechanical blow to the head is still
practised with sheep and is a significant cause of haemorrhage in
organs particularly the lungs and heart. The blow to the head will
initiate a rise in blood pressure. The normal arterial blood pressure
in sheep is 120 – 145 mm/Hg. This may rise to 260 mm/Hg or
over in a stunned animal. The heart rate will be increased.
Immediate bleeding with the fast blood flow from the cut vessels
could prevent this type of haemorrhage in sheep.

Agonal haemorrhage (due to rupture of capillaries) is caused by
laboured breathing and contraction of musculature during violent

A lump formed from a blood clot in tissues or organs is called
a haematoma. Haematoma varies in size and may be over one
meter in diameter (Fig. 27). They are associated with trauma or
a clotting defect. Haematoma of the spleen (Fig. 28) may be
associated by head butting by horned animals.

Judgement : A carcass is approved if the haemorrhage is minor
in extent and is due to physical causes. The affected tissue is
condemned. A carcass affected with extensive haemorrhage where
salvaging is impractical, or a haemorrhagic carcass associated with
septicemia is condemned.

Differential diagnosis : Haemorrhage resulting from blackleg, and
sweet clover poisoning.

Fig. 27 : Haematoma in
the abdominal wall of an

Fig. 28:
Haematoma of
the bovine

Bruises are frequently found on antemortem and post-mortem
examination in food producing animals and poultry. In cattle
bruises caused by transportation or handling are commonly found
in the hip, chest and shoulder areas; in pigs within the ham and in
sheep in the hind leg. Bruises and haemorrhage in the hip joint are
caused by rough handling of animals during shackling. Bruises in
poultry can be localized or generalized and are frequently
associated with bone fractures or ruptured ligament tendons.

Judgement : Bruised animals should be treated as suspects on ante
mortem examination. On postmortem examination, carcasses
affected with local bruising are approved after being trimmed.
Carcasses affected with bruises or injuries associated with
inflammatory lesions are also approved if tissue reaction does not
extend beyond the regional lymph nodes
. The affected area should
be condemned. When bruises or injuries are associated with
systemic change and the wholesomeness of the musculature is lost,
the carcass will be condemned.

On postmortem examination of bird carcasses affected with
bruises and fractures, the following judgement should be observed:
(a) the fractures associated with bruises are removed and affected
tissue is condemned, (b) in compound fractures with damaged
skin, the fractured site and surrounding tissue are condemned; (c)
in simple fractured without bruises and damaged skin, the affected
portion may be approved for mechanical and manual boning
operations. If the lower part of bone is fractured, the bone may be
removed by cutting above the fracture. A carcass affected with
extensive bruises is condemned on postmortem examination (Fig.
29). A slightly or moderately bruised carcass is approved if no
systemic changes are present. Affected tissues are condemned.

Fig. 29: Extensive
bruises of a beef

An abscess is a localized collection of pus separated from the
surrounding tissue by a fibrous capsule.

The most common bacteria in liver abscesses include
Actinomyces (Corynebacterium) pyogenes, Streptococcus spp. and
Staphylococcus spp. In the lungs the most common bacteria are
Pasteurella spp. and Actinomyces pyogenes. Fusobacterium
(Sphaerophorus) necrophorum causes liver abscesses (Fig. 30) as
a complication of rumen inflammation (rumenitis) in adult cattle.
This condition is common in feedlots where cattle are fed a high
grain diet which produces acidity in the rumen and ulcerative
rumenitis. The rumen lesion is invaded by F. necrophorum which
pass further via the veins to the liver and stimulate abscess

Fig. 30:Liver
caused by

Judgement : The judgement of animals and carcasses affected
with abscesses depends on findings of primary or secondary
abscesses in the animal. The portal of entry of pyogenic organisms
into the system is also of importance. The primary abscess is
usually situated in tissue which has contact with the digestive tract,
respiratory tract, subcutaneous tissue, liver etc. The secondary
abscess is found in tissue where contact with these body systems
and organs is via the blood stream. The brain, bone marrow,
spinal cord, renal cortex, ovary and spleen (Fig. 31) may be
affected with secondary abscesses. In judgement of the carcass, the
inflammation of the renal medulla and contact infection in the
spleen and ovaries must be ruled out. A single huge abscess found
in one of the sites of secondary abscesses may cause the
condemnation of a carcass if toxaemia is present. In pigs an
abscess is frequently observed in the jaw and in the spine. Spinal
abscesses in pigs are commonly caused by tail biting (Fig. 32).
The bacterial agent from the tail penetrating the spinal canal could
be arrested in the lumbo-sacral and cervical spinal enlargements,
initiating an abscess formation.

Inspectors should differentiate the abscesses in the active and
growing state from the older calcified or healed abscesses. In
domestic animals, the primary sites of purulent infections are
post-partum uterus, umbilicus or reticulum in “hardware disease”.
Secondary abscesses are frequently observed in distant organs.
Small multiple abscesses may develop in the liver of calves as a
result of infection of the umbilicus (“sawdust liver”, Fig. 33).
Carcasses with such condition should be condemned.

The animals affected with abscesses spread through the blood
stream (pyemia) are condemned on antemortem if the findings of
abscesses are over most areas of the body and systemic
involvement is evident as shown in elevated temperature and

On postmortem examination, the carcasses are condemned for
abscesses, if the abscesses resulted from entry of pyogenic
organisms into the blood stream and into the abdominal organs,
spine or musculature. An abscess in the lungs may require
condemnation of the lungs and an passing the carcass if no other
lesions are noted. Liver abscesses associated with umbilical
infection require condemnation of the carcass. If no other infection
is present the abscess is trimmed off and the liver may be utilized
for human or animal food depending on the regulations of the
respective country. Multiple abscesses in the liver require
condemnation of the organ.

Fig. 31:
abscesses in the
spleen of an
aged cow.

Fig. 32: Tail
necrosis caused
by biting and
secondary spine

abscesses in the
calf liver as a
result of an
carcass with
such condition
should be

Emaciation is a common condition of food animals and is
characterized by a loss of fat and flesh following the loss of
appetite, starvation and cachexia. It is associated with gradual
diminution in the size of organs and muscular tissue as well as
edema in many cases. The organs and muscular tissue appears
thinner, moist and glossy. Cachexia is a clinical term for a chronic
debilitating condition or general physical wasting caused by
chronic disease.

Emaciation may be associated with chronic diseases and parasitic
conditions such as round worms in pigs and fascioliasis in cattle
and sheep, swine erysipelas, neoplasms, tuberculosis, John’s
disease, caseous lymphadenitis, and poor teeth and lack of
nutrition. Emaciation is a postmortem descriptive term which
should be differentiated from thinness.

Antemortem findings :

  1. Wrinkled, dry leathery skin (Fig. 34)

  2. Rough hair coat

  3. Prominent bones and sunken eyes

Postmortem findings :

  1. Serious atrophy of fat in the carcass and organs especially the
    pericardial and renal fat (Fig. 35).

  2. The fat is watery. Tranluscent or jelly-like and hangs from
    the intervertebral spaces (Fig. 36).

  3. Edema and anaemia may develop due to starvation and
    malnutrition due to parasite infestations.

Judgement : Animals affected with emaciation should be treated
as “suspects” on antemortem inspection. On postmortem
examination it is important to assess and differentiate emaciation
from leanness. In case of doubt, the carcass may be held in the
refrigerated room and the general setting of the carcass should be
examined the following day. If the body cavities are relatively dry,
edema of muscle tissue is not present and fat is of an acceptable
consistency i.e. has “set”, the carcass may be passed for food.

Well nourished carcasses with serous atrophy of the heart and
kidneys and mere leanness may also be fit for human consumption.
A carcass with any amount of normal fat may be approved if
everything else appears normal. The carcasses from animals being
in transport for a long period of time may show extensive serous
atrophy of fat (mucoid degeneration of fat tissue) without any
changes in organs and muscles. If after being in the cooler for
24–48 hours, the fat resumes its normal consistency, the carcass is
approved. Otherwise, the carcass is condemned.

The carcass and viscera must be condemned if emaciation is due
to chronic infectious disease. An objective judgement of
emaciation with edema may be made using a 47 %
ethanol/methanol in water solution. A clear, pea-sized piece of
bone marrow, taken from the distal radius, is put carefully into the
solution. If it sinks, the marrow which reflect the water content of
the carcass as a whole, has approximately 45 % water content.
The carcass should be condemned.

Differential diagnosis : Thinness-leanness, edema and uraemia.

Leanness (Poorness) is often observed in range bulls on poor
quality pasture, high milking cows and young growing animals
which have had protein deficient diet. The animals are
physiologically normal and the reduced fat deposits of the animal
carcass are normal in colour and consistency. The reduced muscle
tissue is firm and of a normal consistency. The muscle colour is
darker than normal, and fat tissue may still be present in the orbit
of the eye.

Fig. 34: Emaciated cow
showing marked
reduction of muscle

Fig. 35: Serous
atrophy of renal
fat. Note
seen frequently
in septicemic

Fig. 36: Hanging
gelatinous fat between
the spinal process.

Edema is the accumulation of excess fluid in the intercellular
(interstitial) tissue compartments, including body cavities.

There are two types of edema:

  1. Inflammatory edema (exudate)

  2. Non-inflammatory (transudate)

Inflammatory edema shows yellow, white or greenish clear or
cloudy fluid in the area of inflammation. Non-inflammatory edema
is an accumulation of fluid in subcutaneous tissue, submucosae,
lungs and brain.

Localized edema is noted after:

  1. The swelling of a leg of a cow in prolonged decubitus. This
    swelling is caused by obstruction of the venous outflow

  2. Interference with the lymph circulation of an organ or area
    by proliferation of tumours in or around bile ducts.

  3. Inflammation or an allergic reaction

Systemic or generalized edema may occur secondary to
congestive heart failure or is caused by low protein levels in the
blood. The latter may be associated with:

  • severe malnutrition

  • severe amyloidosis of the kidney

  • gastrointestinal parasitic infestation

  • chronic liver disease

  • damage to the vascular endothelium by toxins and infectious

Anasarca is a form of edema of the subcutaneous tissues. Ascites
is an accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity. Hydrothorax
is an accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity. Hydrothorax may
accompany traumatic pericarditis, ascites, cirrhosis of the liver and
round worm infestation in sheep. Anasarca may be caused by
toxaemic infection.

Antemortem findings :

  1. Depressed and drowsy

  2. Swelling of the mandible, dewlap, legs, shoulder, brisket and
    abdomen (Fig. 37)

  3. Edematous tissue is cool upon touch and is of a firm, doughy

Postmortem findings :

  1. Wet, sloppy musculature which pits on pressure

  2. Accumulation of clear or faint yellow fluid in the thorax,
    abdomen and subcutaneous tissue

Judgement: Animals affected with generalized edema may be
condemned on antemortem inspection. In less severe
non-generalized cases, animals are treated as “suspects”. When
making a judgement of a carcass affected with edema, it is
important to know the underlying cause of the edema and also to
know the significance of all other lesions found in the carcass.

The carcass may be totally or partially condemned depending on
the extent and cause of the condition. The presence of localized
edema necessitates removal of the affected area. The carcass is
then approved. Edema associated with diseased conditions such as
traumatic pericarditis, malignant neoplasm or septicemia requires
condemnation of the carcass because of the primary condition.
Edema observed in the mesentery is commonly related to
circulation interference in the caudal vena cava due to liver
abscess or chronic liver disease. Such a carcass may be held in the
cooler for re-examination. Dry serous membranes of the
abdominal and thoracic walls and a carcass appearing normal after
re-examination can be passed for human consumption. Carcasses
which have been condemned for edema associated with
malnutrition only may be salvaged for animal food (except in case
of edema associated with septicemia).

Differential diagnosis : Pericarditis, peritonitis, pleuritis, renal
amyloidosis, liver disease, grain overload and vagal indigestion,
high altitude disease, uraemia and absorption of a large bruised

Fig.37: Abdominal
edema caused
by liver

Emphysema in animals is associated with some disease
conditions and is caused by an obstruction to the outflow of a air
or by extensive gasping respiration during slaughter procedures.

All species may be affected with alveolar emphysema. However
interstitial emphysema (Fig. 38) occurs mostly in cattle. In the
latter, the lack of collateral ventilation forces the rupture of alveoli
and the migration of air into the interstitium. The lobules of the
lungs become separated by the distended interstitial tissue and
marked lobulation of lungs is observed.

Alveolar emphysema appears as small air bubbles due to air
trapped in dilated alveoli. Large accumulations of air, a few
centimetres in diameter, are called “bullae or bullous emphysema”.

Postmortem findings: Postmortem findings of the
emphysematous lungs include a pale, enlarged greyish-yellow,
pearl like shiny lesion. Upon palpation, the affected area feels
puffy and crepitant.

Two diseases of food animals associated with emphysema are
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in horses, and
interstitial pneumonia in cattle. COPD is also called heaves and
frequently described under chronic bronchitis or bronchiolitis in
horses. Interstitial pneumonia in cattle is also described under fog
fever or acute chronic pulmonary edema and emphysema.

Judgement: Affected lungs are condemned.

Fig. 38: Interstitial
emphysema in
the cow’s

A tumour is an abnormal mass of tissue which grows without
control and uncoordinated with the tissue or organs of origin or
those nearby. Its presence if often cumbersome to the tissue or
organ it arose either by pressure or by replacement of normal
functional tissue. Tumour cells resemble healthy cells however
serve no useful purpose. The term tumour in current medical
lexicon is presently limited to neoplastic growths.

Tumours are usually divided according to tissue of origin i.e.
epithelial, mesenchymal (connective tissue), haemopoietic, nervous
etc. Tumour behavioral classification include their mode of growth
and the degree of invasiveness. Slow growing non invasive
circumscribed tumours are considered benign and fast growing,
infiltrative and frequently metastatic are malignant tumours. The
spread of neoplasm is by direct expansion and infiltration, via
lymphatics and blood circulation and by implantation. Carcinoma
are tumours of the epithelial tissue. They are usually spread via
the lymphatic system. Sarcoma are connective tissue tumours,
commonly spread via haematogenous route. Implantation to
surrounding parietal cavities is observed in ovarian carcinoma. The
spread of malignant tumours via lymphatics or haematogenous
spread to another area not directly connected with the original site
is called metastasia.

Some of the common tumours found during beef inspection are
squamous cell carcinoma, lymphosarcoma, pheochromocytoma,

Fig. 39: Squamous cell
carcinoma affecting
cow’s eye and parotic
lymph node. In this
case, tumour lesions
were also observed in
the lungs. Carcass was

Judgement: Carcass affected with metastatic neoplasms is
condemned. Multiple benign tumours in different organs also
require condemnation of carcass. Carcass affected with
circumscribed benign tumours is approved.

Calcification is the deposition of calcium salts in dead and
degenerating tissue. It may be regarded as a body reaction to
immobilize some foreign agents. It may occur in any tissue or
organ. In dairy cows, calcification is noted in the heart
(endocardium) and is caused by excessive dietary supplementation
with Vitamin D. In cattle mineralization of the aorta and
brachiocephalic trunk (Fig. 40) is sometimes seen. Calcification
is also seen in parasitic infections (Fig. 41) and in many chronic
such as tuberculosis, botryomycosis etc. The presternal
pressure necrosis of fat (putty brisket) seen in cattle and rarely in
sheep may also eventually mineralize. Inflammatory metaplasia
leading to ossification is an incidental finding during post-mortem
examination of food animals. It is most commonly found in
peritoneal scars of hogs.

If calcium particles are removed from the surrounding tissue,
they appear white or grey, irregularly rounded and frequently
honeycombed. Calcification is detected on postmortem examination
by a gritty sound upon incision with a knife.

Judgement: Carcass and viscera affected with presternal
calcification are approved. Affected brisket is condemned.
Calcified parasitic organs and heart in dairy cows are also

Fig. 40:
Calcification of
the aorta and
trunk in a
young heifer.

Fig. 41:
Parasitic lesions
in a sheep

Degeneration implies the change of tissue to a lower or less
functionally active form or deterioration (impairment) of an organ
or cell due to changes in its size. If chemical change of the tissue
occur this is regarded as a true degeneration. Cloudy swelling
(parenchymatous degeneration, albuminous degeneration or
granular degeneration, acute cellular swelling) in the cell is a
response to cell insults including trauma, anoxia, immune
mechanisms, toxins, viral, and bacterial agents. In cloudy swelling,
cell proteinaceous substances become cloudy and the cell increases
in size. It is observed in the heart, kidneys, liver, glands and

Cloudy swelling is often associated with fatty degeneration.
Affected organs are pale, lustrous and softer than normal, slightly
enlarged and have the appearance of having been boiled (Fig. 42).
In slight insults, the animal may recover and in severe cases
cloudy swelling is succeeded by fatty degeneration.

Fatty infiltration is an accumulation of fat in the heart, liver,
kidneys, pancreas
, etc. The liver is yellow, soft in consistency,
has round edges, dimples on pressure, is enlarged and has a greasy
texture on cut surfaces. Fatty infiltration may disappear from the
tissues if the causative agent is removed. The extensive
accumulation of fat in the liver is caused by an increased dietary
intake of fat, increased mobilization of fat during lactation or
starvation. It is also seen in healthy animals slaughtered shortly
after parturition and often accompanies advanced pregnancy in
cows and ewes.

Fatty degeneration is an irreversible process and occurs when fat
accumulates in the damaged cell. The liver capsule is dull and has
a turgid appearance. This condition is associated with acute febrile
and toxic conditions and with chemical poisoning by arsenic,
phosphorus, chloroform etc. The liver and kidneys affected are a
pale, clay-red colour and greasy on touch. They have a patchy or
spotted appearance.

Judgement: Organs and muscles affected with cloudy swelling
are condemned. Detailed examination of the carcass is necessary
since systemic changes are usually present and the carcass is
therefore condemned. A liver affected with fatty infiltration is

Fig. 42:
Cloudy swelling
and associated
fatty change of
the pig liver.

This liver condition is found in cattle, sheep and horses. It is
more frequent in older cows. The liver lesions are bluish black and
irregular with depressed surfaces and dilated blood filled hepatic
sinusoids. A cause of hepatic telangiectasis in cattle is thought to
be local ischemia.

Judgement: Slightly affected liver is approved after appropriate
trimmings. Extensively affected liver requires condemnation.
Condemned material can be used for animal food.

Fig. 43:

Bovine liver
affected with

Abnormal odours may result from the ingestion of certain
feedstuff, drugs, various pathological conditions, absorption of
from strong smelling substances and sexual odour from
some male animals. Pig carcasses may have a fishy odour if the
pig was consuming excessive fish meal in the diet or was fed cod
fish oil. Drugs which may cause absorption of odours include
turpentine, linseed oil, carbolic acid, chloroform, ether, aromatic
spirits of ammonia etc.

In cows affected with ketosis, the sweetish odour of acetone may
be present in the muscles. If treatment was not successful in dairy
cows affected with milk fever, the odour of acetone may be noted
in the connective tissue, kidney fat and musculature. The flesh of
bloated and constipated animals may give off a faecal odour. If the
meat is kept in a room which was recently painted, the odour may
pass on to the carcass. The odour is most noted in a carcass right
after slaughter.

Judgement: The carcass having fish meal odour has inferior
meat. Viscera and organs are also inferior. Generalized drug
treatment requires condemnation of the carcass. If local treatment
and withholding periods are observed, the carcass and viscera are
approved. Sexual odour in a carcass can have a limited distribution
according to the consumers taste. Extremely strong sexual odour
requires condemnation of the carcass.

A carcass which gives off a pronounced odour of medicinal,
chemical or other foreign substances shall be condemned. If the
odour can be removed by trimming or chilling, the carcass may
be passed
for human food after the removal of affected parts or
dissipation of the condition.

Carcasses affected with sexual odour should be held in the cooler
and re-tested periodically. If the odour disappears the carcass is
approved. If the sexual odour is present after 48 hours, the carcass
shall be condemned. Young boars and ridglings are treated as
suspects and held pending a heat test.

If abnormal odour is suspected the smell will be enhanced by
placing a piece of muscle or tissue in cold water and bringing to
the boil.

Immaturity occurs mainly in calves. In many countries, the
slaughter of calves younger than two weeks of age is prohibited.
The muscle of immature animals is moist, pale, flabby and poorly
developed. It is low in protein, high in water content and contains
a high proportion of bone. Immature animals should not be
slaughtered for human consumption.

Antemortem and postmortem findings:

  1. Presence of the umbilical cord

  2. Bluish and not completely retracted gums

  3. Greyish muscles are flabby, tear easily and are not well

  4. Dark red kidney and edematous kidney capsule

Judgement : Carcass and offal of immature animals are

Remarks: A presence or non presence of fat around the kidneys
(“caul fat”) should not be used as a guide for judgement of
immature animals.

In developing countries, slaughter animals, particularly cattle are
often trekked some hundreds of kilometres on the hoof to the
abattoirs. During this journey, animals may suffer from various
plant poisoning. In addition cattle living in areas where pasture has
poisonous plants may suffer from the effects of chronic plant
poisoning. Different body systems may be affected and various
lesions may be seen at meat inspection.

Clinical signs and gross lesions observed in animals that have
ingested certain poisonous plants: Tulip (slangkop) causes
diarrhoea, bloated abdomen and heart failure. Lantana camara
causes photosensitization. Senecio causes necrosis and cirrhosis of
. Crololaria causes laminitis. Dicapetalum cymosum causes
heart failure and sudden death.

Judgement: Judgement of the animal or animal carcass will
depend on the clinical signs and the extent and severity of the

Dipping of cattle in acaricide on a regular basis is practised in
many parts in order to control thick borne diseases. Chemicals
used for this purpose include arsenic, chlorinated hydrocarbons
and organophosphates. Dipping may lead to clinical cases of
poisoning, which may be manifested with the following clinical
signs: nervous system disturbances, acute abdominal pain,
and skin lesions. Gross lesions may include
gastro-enteritis, fatty degeneration of the liver and inadequate

Judgement: The carcass, offal and intestine should be condemned
if clinical signs
of poisoning are associated with postmortem

Grassland in many parts of Africa contains scattered grasses with
spear-like seeds. These seeds may penetrate through the wool and
skin to the subcutis, and further through to the abdominal wall into
the abdominal cavity.

Antemortem and postmortem findings:

  1. Spear-like seeds in the wool and skin

  2. Spear-like seeds in the connective tissue, fat and musculature (Fig. 44)

  3. Acute inflammation of the affected tissue

  4. Abscessation

  5. Spear-like seeds in the abdominal cavity causing low grade

Judgement: If an acute generalized inflammation is associated
with haemorrhages and abscesses, the carcass should be
condemned, otherwise the carcass is approved.

Fig. 44: Spear grass
penetration of sheep.
Numerous spear like
seeds in the sheep

90,000 symptoms, treatment, causes of the disease, the first signs


Sepsis develops due to the presence of a septic focus in the human body and a violation of the body’s reactivity. Initially, the phase of toxemia develops, which is characterized by the development of a systemic inflammatory response. This is due to the spread of microbial toxins from the primary focus of infection, while microorganisms are not detected in the blood. The next phase of sepsis, septicemia, is characterized by persistent bacteremia, that is, dissemination of pathogenic microorganisms along the vascular bed.In the next phase, which is called septicopyemia, the formation of secondary metastatic purulent foci occurs in the internal organs and bones.

As a rule, the following bacteria are the source of sepsis:

  • staphylococci;
  • streptococci;
  • meningococci;
  • pneumococci;
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa;
  • Klebsiella;
  • somewhat less often – enterococci, enterobacteria, proteus.

Much less often sepsis develops against the background of a fungal infection, for example, with candidiasis, aspergillosis, etc….

Depending on the localization of the primary infectious focus, the following types of sepsis are distinguished:

  • surgical, arising in the postoperative period;
  • obstetric and gynecological. As a rule, it occurs after complicated abortion or childbirth. In most cases, in obstetric practice, sepsis is encountered after a criminal abortion performed without observing the rules of asepsis and antiseptics;
  • peritoneal, in which the primary focus of infection is located in the abdominal cavity;
  • urosepsis, characterized by damage to the urinary tract;
  • pleuro-pulmonary, developing against the background of purulent lung diseases, for example, lung phlegmon, pleural empyema;
  • cutaneous.The source of infection is the skin;
  • odontogenic. It occurs in diseases such as periostitis, peri-maxillary phlegmon, apical periodontitis and others;
  • tonsilogenic, developing against the background of a severe course of tonsillitis, the causative agent of which are staphylococci or streptococci;
  • otogenic. Most often it occurs due to purulent otitis media;
  • rhinogenic. It develops as a result of the spread of infection from the nasal cavity or paranasal sinuses;
  • umbilical, which meets with neonatal omphalitis.Omphalitis is an inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous fat in the umbilical wound in a newborn.

Based on the duration of the pathological process, the following forms of sepsis are distinguished:

  • lightning fast – 2-3 days;
  • acute – from 4 days to a week;
  • subacute – no more than 6-7 weeks;
  • chronic – more than 2 months.

The prognosis of sepsis depends on how early the treatment was started and how correctly it went, on the type of pathogenic microorganisms that caused the disease, as well as the individual characteristics of the organism.In the initial stages, doctors often seek a complete cure. In the absence of timely medical intervention, death overtakes more than half of the patients.


Photo: medknsltant.com

One of the first symptoms indicating the development of an inflammatory process is an increase in body temperature. As a rule, with sepsis, there is a sharp increase in body temperature up to 39 – 40 ° C. In most cases, there is an alternation of episodes of fever with normal body temperature, only in rare cases is there a constant fever.This is accompanied by severe chills, a feeling of heat, increased sweating, as a result of which underwear and bedding should be changed as needed. A person becomes agitated, rushes about in bed, can pronounce incoherent words, however, as the process progresses, this behavior is replaced by lethargy, increased drowsiness. A decrease in body temperature is also possible, which is usually observed when the body is exhausted.

On the part of the cardiovascular system, the following changes are noted:

  • tachycardia – increased heart rate.With sepsis, the heart rate can reach 120 – 150 beats per minute;
  • with auscultation, muffled heart sounds are noted;
  • lowering blood pressure. In most cases, systolic blood pressure is 100 and below mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure is less than 70 mm Hg.

On the part of the respiratory system, shortness of breath is noted, which consists in rapid and difficult breathing. As a rule, with sepsis, shortness of breath of a mixed nature develops, that is, difficulties arise both when entering and when exhaling.

In some cases, the appearance of symptoms from the gastrointestinal tract is noted, namely, a person is worried about nausea, vomiting or increased defecation (more than 3 times a day, while the watery nature of the stool is noted).

Initially, the skin has a pale icteric tint, but as the process progresses, a rash appears on the skin in the form of punctate hemorrhages and small blisters filled with bloody contents. The appearance of multiple hemorrhages indicates the development of hemorrhagic syndrome.In addition, pinpoint hemorrhages can also be found on visible mucous membranes, such as the oral mucosa.


Photo: vokrugsveta.ua

During the examination of the patient, there is a high body temperature, a decrease in blood pressure, an increase in heart rate and an increase in respiratory rate.

In the general analysis of blood, an increase in leukocytes is found (with a shift in the leukocyte formula to the left), an increase in ESR, in some cases there is a lowered platelet count.In the general analysis of urine, protein, leukocytes or red blood cells can be detected. In a biochemical blood test, special attention is paid to a possible increase in bilirubin, urea, uric acid and a decrease in ions (calcium and chlorine). The listed changes in general analyzes may correspond to other pathological processes occurring in the human body, which is why it is important to coordinate their results with the clinical picture and other examination results.

The most specific laboratory indicator indicating the presence of sepsis in a person is the determination of procalcitonin in the blood.Procalcitonin is a precursor to the thyroid hormone calcitonin. Normally, procalcitonin is found in blood plasma in a minimal amount, namely, its concentration is less than 0.05 ng / ml. In the presence of a pronounced infectious process in the body, calcitonin is produced not only by the cells of the thyroid gland, but also by the cells of other internal organs, for example, the liver, lungs, and pancreas. In this case, there is an increase in the content of procalcitonin in the blood plasma.It has been scientifically proven that the level of procalcitonin in the blood plasma is directly proportional to the severity of the inflammatory process in the body. So, for example, with local inflammation (angina, sinusitis, etc.), there is a slight deviation of the procalcitonin content from normal values, however, with severe systemic infections, the procalcitonin content in the blood increases sharply.

Sterility culture is performed to detect bacteria in the blood. Normally, human blood is sterile, that is, it does not contain microorganisms, which is disturbed in sepsis.To get the correct result, it is important to take material for research before prescribing antibacterial agents. For the study, blood is drawn from different veins, the volume of which is 10 ml in adults and 5 ml in children, and sent to the laboratory. Before sending the material, be sure to put a label on the tubes, containers, vials and transport media indicating the patient’s data, the date and time of taking the material. In the laboratory, blood culture is performed on nutrient media, which makes it possible to identify the causative agent of sepsis, as well as to determine its sensitivity to certain groups of antibacterial agents, which is especially important for the appointment of correct treatment.On average, the results of the study become known after 5 – 7 days. If necessary, PCR diagnostics are prescribed, which makes it possible to identify the causative agent of sepsis in a short time. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is a highly specific laboratory research method based on the identification of the genetic material of a microorganism. The reaction is set up within 2 – 4 hours, that is, the entire procedure, including the collection of material and its study, takes no more than one day.

To identify the source of the development of sepsis, instrumental diagnostic methods can be prescribed, for example, ultrasound, endoscopic examination, X-ray examination and others.


Photo: arnapress.kz

Treatment of sepsis is carried out in the intensive care unit. If necessary, surgical intervention is performed to eliminate the source of the development of sepsis. Next, antibacterial agents are prescribed, the action of which is aimed at destroying harmful microorganisms. Before the results of the sensitivity of microorganisms to antibiotics are obtained, empirical administration of antibacterial agents takes place.As a rule, broad-spectrum drugs are empirically prescribed that affect both gram-positive and gram-negative flora. The effectiveness of the antibiotic used is assessed within 3 days. If there is no clinical improvement, the antibacterial drug is replaced with a representative of a different group.

To correct the acid-base state of the blood, intravenous administration of electrolyte infusion solutions is used. In order to correct the protein balance, amino acid mixtures, albumin or donor plasma are prescribed.For severe bacteremia, the following types of extracorporeal detoxification are used:

  • plasmapheresis – separation of blood into plasma and blood cells with subsequent removal of the liquid part – plasma;
  • hemofiltration – a method of blood filtration, which is carried out using artificial high-permeability membranes;
  • hemosorption is a blood purification method based on the use of a special filter that has the ability to adsorb toxic substances.

In some cases, against the background of sepsis, renal failure develops, which is an indication for hemodialysis.

Symptomatic treatment consists in correcting conditions arising from sepsis. For example, drugs that increase blood pressure, pain relievers, anticoagulants, and so on can be used.


Photo: zdorovi.com

In the treatment of sepsis, broad-spectrum antibacterial agents are used that affect gram-positive and gram-negative microflora.These include:

  • cephalosporins (ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, cefoperazone, cefepime). They have a bactericidal effect, which is achieved due to a violation of the synthesis of the cell wall of the microorganism. Cephalosporins are distributed in many tissues, organs and secretions (with the exception of the prostate gland), which makes it possible to use them for various diseases of a bacterial nature. While taking cephalosporins, side effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, increased transaminase activity, and in some cases convulsions may appear, which indicates the use of high doses of the antibiotic in case of impaired renal function.The presence of allergies will be indicated by the appearance of a characteristic rash, itching, edema, and respiratory failure;
  • penicillins (ampicillin, amoxicillin, augmentin). The mechanism of action of these antibacterial agents is to disrupt the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall, which leads to their death. Penicillins are distributed in many internal organs, tissues and body fluids. In particular, a large concentration of the drug is found in the lungs, kidneys, intestinal mucosa, pleural and peritoneal fluids, as well as in the organs of the reproductive system.In some cases, while taking penicillins, the following side effects occur: headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, upset stool in the form of diarrhea, tremors, and occasionally convulsions. Preparations of this group are contraindicated for use if a person has an allergic reaction to penicillins;
  • fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin). They have a bactericidal effect, which is achieved by inhibiting two vital enzymes of the microorganism (DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV), as a result of which DNA synthesis is disrupted.It is important to note that this group of antibacterial agents is ototoxic, therefore, prolonged use of the drug in excess of the course of administration is prohibited. In addition, while taking fluoroquinolones, abdominal pain, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, impaired appetite, insomnia, headache, paresthesias, tremors, convulsions may appear;
  • carbapenems (meropenem, imipinem). The mechanism of action is to inhibit the penicillin-binding proteins of the cell wall of the microorganism, resulting in a violation of its synthesis, which further leads to the death of bacteria.Carbapenems are acid-labile, which is why they are used exclusively parenterally. Resistant to penicillinases and cephalosporinases. They are fairly well distributed throughout the body, creating therapeutic concentrations in almost all internal organs, tissues and secretions. While taking this group of antibacterial agents, it is possible to develop side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, soreness and infiltration at the injection site of the drug.

Folk remedies

Photo: cocukrehberi.net

Sepsis is a pathological condition that requires qualified medical care. In no case should one assume that any folk remedies are able to cope with such a difficult condition. Therefore, it is strictly forbidden to self-medicate. If a fever develops, you should immediately consult a doctor who will prescribe all the necessary research methods and appropriate treatment.

In order to prevent the development of sepsis, local purulent processes should be treated in a timely manner.In addition, it is important to remind that all recommendations of the attending physician should be carefully followed when using antibacterial agents. With an independent change in the treatment regimen, namely, correction of the duration of administration and dosage of the drug, the risk of developing resistance of microorganisms to the antibiotic used increases.

It is also recommended to immunize the population at risk from pneumococcal infection. The risk group includes people suffering from chronic diseases of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, persons with immunodeficiency, and so on.

In addition, hospitals must comply with the rules of asepsis and antiseptics during surgical interventions or any other medical procedures. Also, to prevent the spread of the infectious process, it is necessary to timely identify and isolate patients with signs of an infectious disease.

The information is for reference only and is not a guide to action. Do not self-medicate. At the first symptoms of the disease, see your doctor.90,000 Septicemia is what is it -? Causes, symptoms, diagnostic methods and treatment of septicemia

Septicemia – what is it? You will get the answer to this difficult medical question from the materials of this article. We will also talk about what symptoms this disease has, and how it should be treated.

Basic Information

Septicemia is the medical term for blood poisoning. As a rule, such a disease occurs as a consequence of the entry of pathogens into the systemic circulation.In this case, the spread of microbes can begin from absolutely any source of inflammation (for example, infectious lesions of tissues or organs, wounds on the skin, etc.).

Features of the disease

Septicemia is a blood disorder that affects young children most often. What is the reason for this? The fact is that the child’s immune system is at the stage of formation, so an infection from its organs can quite easily penetrate the bloodstream.

How is septicemia manifested? The symptoms of this disease will be listed below.It should be noted that with septicemia, the patient is worried about not only high body temperature and fever, but also respiratory failure, delirium and tachycardia. This disease is characterized by rapid development. In this regard, it is extremely important to recognize it in time and conduct adequate therapy.

Causes of occurrence

Septicemia is a blood disease that occurs, as we have already said, due to pathogenic microbes. In most cases, they are ordinary bacteria, but viruses, fungi, and other opportunistic microorganisms can also cause the disease in question.

As a rule, microbes enter the human body through open wounds on the body, mouth and various foci of inflammation (for example, with otitis media, sinusitis, inflammation of the kidneys). Most often, the patient’s immune system copes with such pathogenic microorganisms. But in the event that a large number of bacteria immediately enter the bloodstream (for example, with advanced stages of otitis media, sinusitis, cystitis, etc.), then the immunity is not able to resist them, as a result of which infection begins with all the ensuing consequences.

Very often septicemia, the symptoms and treatment of which are presented below, is a serious complication of infectious diseases. It should also be noted that together with microbes, the products of their vital activity enter the bloodstream, that is, toxic substances, which cause toxic shock, damage to organs and tissues, as well as disruption of the functioning of various systems. As a result of this, the disease in question can quite easily provoke a lethal outcome.

Septicemia: symptoms in adults

As mentioned above, the disease in question is characterized by a rather rapid development.That is why recognizing the first symptoms of the disease will help the doctor begin timely treatment and save the patient’s life.

For the onset of such a disease, the usual symptoms of a cold are characteristic (fever, general weakness, chills, refusal to eat). Further, vomiting and diarrhea, characteristic of an intestinal infection, join them. Also, the patient develops tachycardia and rapid breathing.

Other signs

The condition of a person with septicemia is deteriorating rather quickly. Toxins entering the systemic circulation damage the blood vessels, which leads to subcutaneous hemorrhages, which appear as rashes.

At the very beginning of the disease, the rash looks like small dots. After that, they are transformed into large blue areas.

With severe intoxication, the patient experiences delusional states, as well as loss of consciousness.

It should be emphasized that the symptoms of this disease can vary significantly, depending on the causes of its occurrence. For example, bacterial septicemia is a form of blood poisoning that is characterized by the appearance of abscesses on the heart valves.Also, the cause of the development of this disease can be staphylococci and enterococci. In this case, the internal organs and systems are affected (the spleen increases, the vessels, kidneys, joints, etc.) are affected.

The characteristic signs of this disease are hemorrhages under the skin and in the lower eyelid, as well as necrosis of the subcutaneous tissue, the appearance of nodules on the palms, thickening of the phalanges of the fingers, etc.

How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosis of such a disease is established by the typical symptoms of blood poisoning.Also, the presence of this disease is confirmed by laboratory tests.

To identify the causative agent of septicemia, a blood culture is prescribed to the patient. In this case, the analysis must be done several times in a row. This is due to the fact that microorganisms have a certain life cycle, and the ongoing therapy can significantly change their number in the blood and bloodstream. When determining the type of bacteria, an analysis is also carried out for their susceptibility to various antibiotics.

It should be noted that the standard procedure for such a disease is biochemical and general analysis of blood and urine.An ultrasound of the chest, abdominal cavity, etc. can also be prescribed.

Septicemia: treatment

Treatment of the ailment in question should take place only in stationary conditions, or rather in the intensive care unit or intensive care unit.

The treatment regimen is based on the same principles as the treatment of infectious diseases. However, when choosing medicines, experts must take into account the patient’s condition, as well as the high risk of death.

As a rule, for septicemia, doctors use antibiotics, as well as drugs to reduce intoxication and increase immunity.If required, the patient is prescribed funds that are able to correct the disturbed processes in the body.

Features of therapy

With septicemia, the patient needs complete rest and dietary nutrition. An important point in the treatment of this disease is to cleanse the focus of infection. For this purpose, antibiotics of different groups are used. Sometimes the patient is additionally prescribed hormone therapy.

In case of severe intoxication, the patient is injected intravenously with gamma globulin, glucose solution, plasma.If abscesses (secondary) are detected, urgent surgical treatment is performed. They are opened and cleaned. Also, purulent wounds are washed, and the affected areas are excised.

The West is looking for the causes of death of saigas

In the American newspaper The Washington Post, the death of thousands of saigas in a few weeks was called “an ecological mystery of Kazakhstan.” “Once, during the last ice age, they walked the earth with furry mammoths, but at the end of the twentieth century, due to the loss of habitat and poaching, they almost completely died out,” the newspaper writes.

The publication notes that Kazakhstan is home to about 90 percent of the world’s saiga population, which, according to rough estimates, was about 250 thousand heads before the May mass death. “For an endangered species, this is dramatic, if not disastrous. The experts are clearly shocked, ”according to The Washington Post.

New Scientist also notes that “a mysterious disease has claimed the lives of half of the world’s saiga population.”According to the latest data, more than 120 thousand saigas have died. It is believed that death was due to acute diarrhea and breathing difficulties, they write in the journal. In response to a request for assistance from the Kazakh authorities, the secretariat of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals dispatched a team of experts led by Richard Cock of the Royal Veterinary College Hanfield in the UK.

This is extremely dramatic and tragic, the death rate is 100 percent. I know of no other examples of such a mortality rate in history, when all animals and all cubs die.

“This is extremely dramatic and tragic, the death rate is 100 percent. I do not know of any other examples of such a mortality rate in history, when all animals and all cubs are killed, ”- quotes the New Scientist as saying Richard Cock.

After testing, an international team of experts concluded that deaths can be caused by three factors: bacterial hemolytic septicemia, viral epizootic hemorrhagic disease transmitted by mosquito bites, or toxemia caused by the bacteria clooristidium, writes New Scientist.However, to establish the exact cause, additional tests and laboratory studies, as well as a comprehensive analysis, are necessary, the journal notes.

The Huffington Post writes that “the mysterious death of saigas puzzles scientists” and prompts “conspiracy theories.” The population of 250,000 saigas in Kazakhstan was considered “successful conservation,” but “now the UN has confirmed the death of 120,000, and this figure may rise,” the newspaper writes.

The Huffington Post cites the opinion of the biologist E.J. Milner-Gulland that the death was most likely due to “an extremely contagious disease”, and writes that the UN announced the involvement in the death of the bacteria Pasteurella and Cloristidium, which are fatal to animals with weakened immune systems. The newspaper notes that some Kazakhstani environmentalists blame the death of Russian rocket fuel after the launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome.

Newsweek is also considering rocket fuel poisoning of saigas.The article, however, cites the opinion of EJ Milner-Gulland, who said that, most likely, this was not the main reason for their death.

The well-known Internet blog Mashable writes that although the exact cause of the death has not yet been established, preliminary analysis indicates that a combination of environmental and biological factors were involved. The article provides the opinion of a group of experts invited to Kazakhstan that the bacteria Pasteurella and Cloristidium could lead to death, however, it is noted that they usually “kill only animals with a previously weakened immune system.”

In terms of the impact of rocket fuel, Mashable, citing UN expert on land animals, Aline Kuehl-Steenzel, reports that “the information collected so far does not indicate that rocket fuel was the cause of death.