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A 14-month-old, male German Shepherd dog was admitted with a six-week history of lameness and swelling of the right hindlimb. Clinical examination revealed polyarthritis, fever, petechiae and ecchymoses of the abdominal skin and prepuce. The haematology and blood chemistry were indicative of sepsis. Mediolateral radiographic views of both of the stifle joints revealed signs of bilateral articular capsule swelling. The radiographical, bacteriological and necropsy findings confirmed a diagnosis of septic polyarthritis due to infection with Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae.